To Cairn – Halla Stefansdottir

To Cairn invites the public to see 3 cairns more than 2700 km away, as they encounter, in various parts of the city, three cairns (Icelandic: varða, pl.vörðu) actually located in the Þjórsárdalur valley of Iceland.

Built of stones, the cairns were landmarks set to help travellers find their way on perilous trails across the country. The ancient trail, observed by Halla Steinunn since summer 2016, marks the outset of a path over the high plateau Sprengisandur, so titled as people were wont to ‘sprengja’ or exhaust their horses on the long ride over desolate and barren land. Replaced today by other systems, the cairns are still a memorial to man’s navigation through environment and being in the world. As part of the installation, people of Aberdeen and the North East have been asked to lend their thoughts to a sonic component of the piece; an homage to wayfarer’s tradition of adding a stone to the cairn in order to maintain it for the next traveller.

The work was developed at the Inter Arts Center of Lund University and created in its studios as well as those at The University of Aberdeen

Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir has been the artistic director of Nordic Affect since its inception in 2005. Believing that exciting things happen “in the connection” Halla Steinunn’s work with the ensemble has been a tour de force when it comes to collaborative relationships with composers, visual artists, and producers. Furthermore she’s brought the spotlight to women’s role in music history, leading to projects such as HÚN/SHE which was broadcast by the European Broadcasting Service in 2015.

With degrees from The Royal Danish Academy of Music and Indiana University School of Music, Halla Steinunn now holds a PhD position in artistic research at Lund University, in a time where the divide between creator and performer is being questioned in theoretical writings and in practice.






Dates: Thursday 8th – Sunday 11th February

Times: 6:30pm – 9:30pm daily (last entry 9:00pm)

Entry: Free