Radiant smile, wind in her hair and that certain something. An afternoon with the Faroese artist Annika á Lofti. Coffee klatsch and gorge walk, pleasant and intense. Soon, we talk about the big questions, as for instance: knowing who you are and where you belong.
Annika, born in 1983 in Tórshavn, raised in Sandavágur on the island Vágar. Studies of photography and acting, Bachelor in Fine Arts. As early as in 2007, she joins MYND, The Faroese Society of Visual Arts – as its youngest member at the age of 23.
Copenhagen, Reykjavík, Berlin, Los Angeles, London. Annika has lived in many places. „I really love traveling“, she tells me. „But I can’t stay away from the Faroe Islands for too long. Whenever I tried, I felt completely lost and suffered from severe homesickness. I think it’s something directly connected to Sandavágur and my family tree, which can be traced back for centuries.“
In literature, references to homesickness in adults go back as far as Homer's Odyssey, but the modern term was coined in the 17th century to describe the feelings of Swiss mercenaries who longed for their homeland while fighting elsewhere in Europe. In France, they were even banned from singing certain Swiss songs – on the basis that nostalgia would overwhelm them.
With Annika, it’s all about the Faroe Islands. London, where she recently lived and worked as an actress, took a lot of her energy, she states with the benefit of hindsight. „Small-towners like me constantly see the same faces. In London, my brain also tried to place all the faces I met. An endeavor that left me tired and exhausted most of the time.“
Knowing who you are and where you belong: insight, nameless relief and painful experience at the same time, regarding Annika. Because leaving’s always about leaving people behind, too. Sometimes, even the one you love.
Working as an actress in London, Annika made good money. But it’s not a promising account balance that makes her happy. „Financially, being an artist doesn’t make sense at all“, she nonchalantly unveils, while sending out another radiant smile. „Still, being an artist is exactly what I want to do. I don’t need a walk-in closet full of fancy clothes.“
Annika’s field of artistic work: wide-ranging. Photography, performance, installation, painting; capturing and demanding. Her art has been shown in exhibitions at i.a. The Faroese National Art Museum, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Copenhagen, Universität der Künste Berlin, Leopold Museum Vienna and The Reykjavík Art Museum.
And what about acting? „I also enjoy that a lot“, Annika tells me. „As for me, acting is the perfect way to live many lives. It’s always like adding colors and feelings to your own personality.“
This summer, it has been Annika’s side job that has kept her busy: working for Visit Vágar. Taking people out for excursions and guided hikes, showing them her home country. The Faroe Islands. The place she will always return to.