In 2014, I ventured into Denmark to explore the country my ancestors came from. My eyes and heart were wide open. My experience there can be simplified in the Danish term "hygge". The people I met, the places I saw, the Land itself all spoke to me of the love I had felt in my Farmor's home. These first 3 pieces in the series that has become 9, to my excitement and surprise have all been chosen for a show of that exact name! "Hygge - Creating Sanctuary". These pieces will make their debut in Illinois at the Kavanaugh Gallery, at Fine Line Art Center. Many many thanks to Eileen Collins and the jury committee for selecting these first 3 in my series to be exhibited in a show that makes my heart sing!
I will add the rest of the series in various stages of progress to this album, with some details along the way.
My first experience of “hygge" was with my Farmor, but I didn’t know it until I traveled to Denmark in 2014/ 2015, in search of my family roots: My great grandparents were born in Jylland (Jutland). Four of the boys and one sister emigrated to Montana in the late 1800's.
Hygge means comfort for me, and coziness, the land in Denmark also gave me that. Wandering in the forest at Ashøje, the sunset in Føllenslev, the train-ride from Kobenhavn to Humelbæk.
An eye opener for me was at Heltborg Museum, in Hurup, where the family farm is. Jens and Britta, friends I made there (a whole other story) invited me to the Christmas faire. I stood there, awestruck as Danish songs and shared aebleskiver (a delicious apple ball pancake) permeated. I grew up with that at Farmor’s. Tears welled in my eyes. Hygge, is deep inside me, manifested in the simple. I’m forever grateful my Farmor gave me the gift without me ever knowing it. She never got to Denmark, but I brought her there in 2014.
Robbin T. Milne