The Vikings have fascinated people for a long time with stories about the infamous raids, and explorations reaching as far as North America in the west, and down to the Caspian and the Black Sea in the east. Multiple settlements in the British Isles, Normandy, Iceland, and Greenland have left traces of how they lived during the Viking Age (793–1066 AD). It is believed that this expansion was caused by the harsh environment in the north with years of famine, together with new innovations in seafaring such as the long-ship, the sunstone, and the compass.
The archeological findings from the Viking age allow us to understand how people lived and what they valued during these times. It is evident that they valued artistic expression when looking at the decoration on the long ships, with the Oseberg ship burial as one of the most outstanding examples. Other findings includes wood carvings and jewelry created with artistic expression and deeper meaning derived from the symbolism used. Numerous carvings captured on memorial stones throughout Scandinavia depict stories about brave men returning from battles. Interwoven in the solid lines are runic writings of the belief in the norse gods and their mythology. There are many interpretations to be made from these carvings that will reveal more knowledge about the people who created them.
Viking Art is a great subject to explore as it opens a window into a past left with only a few items to understand the minds of the Vikings; why they used certain symbols and depicted animals and mythological figures as they did. What we have today reveals a great treasure of creations that was unique for its time and unique for Scandinavia. Our work here at Viking Art is to bring these creations to a new life by creating art based on the Viking Age designs and contemporary art inspired by Viking designs and Norse mythology.