Work Retreat Sardinia

Artist Helle Louise Kierkegaard chose in the summer of 2017 to go on an extended trip to Sardinia, Italy with her 3 daughters, to explore the Sardinian mountains and turquoise lagoons. During their 4 week stay, they visited different places, but one place in particular was especially magic. A small village which is forever embedded in the soul of the artist. The village of Santa Maria, a quiet place in the mountains with a lot of older women, mourning the loss of their seamen husbands lost a sea, walking around in the black dresses, indicating their widow status.

Helle Louise shares:

The first week of our stay in the village, walking up and down the mountain to our little stone house, I noticed the many glances from the locals. The wondering and questioning stares, wondering where my husband was? Every day I was walking alone with my 3 daughters and sensed the questioning glances, however they could not look me in the eyes. To begin with it felt a bit strange and uncomfortable but the redemption came the day I wore my black long-sleeved dress which was very similar to their own mourning dresses. The interesting happened and suddenly I was met with praying eyes, the crucifix and folded hands from all of the widows dressed in black. I was respected and their mystery had been solved, they were certain that I walked alone with my daughters, because I had lost my husband and now was a widow, just like them.

Sardinia is a very religious island where they have extreme and almost theatrical rituals with parades, masses and masquerades in all villages on certain days all year round. Especially around Easter where Jesus hangs on the cross and the entire island walks behind him with lights and prayers, up and down the mountains.

We really got to experience Sardinia and its people from the inside and we are, all four of us, still very moved and touched by the many intense impressions. In my luggage I had 20 meters of canvas and during our 4 week stay I created several magical bases of paintings. All of the 7 paintings that emerged from this are at the current moment on sale at “Midjyllands Kunstcenter” and one of them I have in my gallery ART-LUI.”

Artist Helle Louise will continue to travel to Santa Maria and live in the little village in the mountains overlooking yet another blinking lighthouse to work and paint, whenever the longing for warmer weather and authentic Italian inspiration emerges.

This was only a fraction of text and experiences from an adventurous summer in Italy, which will be forever embedded in our bodies and minds. I am eternal grateful for being blessed with such a soulful and powerful journey that I got to share with my 3 daughters and where I was able to fully combine work and pleasure.

Following is a little selection of the daily haiku poem that we each wrote in our journals, every evening on our journey. They are all saved in a scrapbook for eternal memory of our trip.

Haiku day 4

We are lucky
To travel and create
For one eternity

Haiku day 8

Today sailing
Peter Pan pirate ship fun
Turquoise blue sea foam

Sardinia Santa Maria

Sardinia Su Cologone