Friday, January 13, 2012

Arty Farty Friday ~ William Heinesen of The Faroe Islands

This Arty Farty Friday's artist was born on 15 January in 1900, came from a place he called "the navel of the world", remote islands in the North Atlantic ocean, The Faroe Islands. A cluster of 18 islands to the northwest of Scotland and halfway between Iceland and Norway, territory of Denmark but self-governing. There, one is never more than 3 miles from the ocean, with countryside dominated by steep mountains. Some 70,000 sheep and 2 million pairs of seabirds, including the largest colony of storm petrels in the world share the islands with around 50,000 humans, whose language and culture are distinct to the islands.

Andreas William Heinesen (15 January 1900 – 12 March 1991) was a poet, composer and painter from Tórshavn, capital of the Faroe Islands. He used this remote North Atlantic location as a microcosmic setting for universal social, psychological, and cosmic themes. He is reported to have called Tórshavn "The Navel of the World". Heinesen was captivated by the mysterious part of life. He called himself religious in the broadest sense of the word. His life could be described as a struggle against defeatism. One oft-quoted aphorism of his is that "life is not despair, and death shall not rule".

Heinesen's paintings have been used on Faro Islands postage stamps. Few images of his work are available online - some examples follow, below. His novels and poetry have been translated into some twenty different languages. He was nominated for the Nobel prize, and presented with several litarary prizes. His novels, published between 1934 and 1976 include:
Windswept Dawn, Black Cauldron, Lost Musicians, Good Hope, Tower at the Edge of the World.

Chart is set for 12 noon as time of birth isn't known.
What a distinctive chart it is! A classic "see-saw" configuration with all but Venus in Aquarius involved in a balancing act between Sagittarius/Capricorn and Gemini/Cancer (Moon would have been in Cancer whatever the birth time).

Sagittarius adds philosophical optimism to Capricorn's Earthy commonsense attitude and business sense, with some extra balancing coming from communicative Gemini and sensitive Cancer Moon happy in its own sign of rulership. Mr Heinesen was another from that wonderful Pluto/Neptune in Gemini generation from which so many iconic figures from the arts scene of the world sprang.

Venus, out on a bit of a limb in Aquarius, forms an exact harmonious trine to Gemini Neptune(imagination and creativity)- no need to seek further for source of his inspiration!

Beauty and the Beast

Cover of Baladas Epicas Feroesas (a book on legends of the Faroes, I think)

Information from

Some photographs of the islands

Slideshow of photographs of the islands


JD said...

interesting post
thank you for that

James Higham said...

In my book, the Faroes were the centre from which the fightback for civilization came. Interesting you should mention them.

Twilight said...

JD and James ~~~ Glad to know it was of interest. :-)

Anonymous said...

GP: Unfortunate we don't have Heinesens's hour of birth. Born so high up north gives him extremely large houses at the AS, for the time of the year he was born. Short MC and surrounding houses, long nordic nights and very short days in January.

And his art is very colorful and refreshing to look at, sort of compensating.

Twilight said...

Anonymous/Gian Paul ~~ It would be nice to know where that big cluster of planets lay in relation to the asc. and mc. Maybe, in time, someone who knows this detail will leave a comment and enlighten us.

Vanilla Rose said...

The Faroes have a football team and I think they have been in the news for killing dolphins. :(

Twilight said...

Vanilla Rose ~~ Really? Oh dear!
I guess everyone, every place and person on Earth will have a shadow-side.