Right -so I have been here 2 weeks and some exploring has been done and some work has been started. I will reflect on both:
The village is charming – small and compact, sitting at the edge of the sea with an outlook to the west towards a distant horizon (sometimes) of ocean and the western fjords. The open outlook results in huge skies and enormous seas
…and sunsets/sunrises made in dreams.
The houses are all small and painted in typical Icelandic colours of pale blues, yellows, reds and greys. Here is our house a 2 Fellsbraut.
There is one supermarket, a restaurant, a small cafe, a garage, a harbour which is a hive of activity when a fishing catch is landed,
and most importantly for me, a swimming pool open for the 3 summer months and with a hot pot on the side serving personal coffee to anyone in the tub. Glorious decadence.
The residency space is fantastic – an open studio made out of an old herring factory – with 10 individual artist spaces around the sides and a communal set of sofas in the centre… this is where scones happen. and late night chats. and cat stroking if Lila is around.
As for the surrounding area – I have walked along the shore to the North and to the South…and seen an orange man (keeping people off the eider duck nesting grounds)
and an orange river
bordered by black sand…
and horses, lots of them…
and lupins as far as the eye can see.
I have also been to Blondus to the local textile museum, stuffed with examples of Icelandic fashion from the past
as well as some contemporary felted works.
The swimming pool there is wonderful, with several hotpots and a decent length of swim. And a slide. And waffles in the cafe afterwards.Some of us also went with Charlie, who works with Biopol, on a seaweed collecting excursion – via a supernarket and a hardware store and also the site of the execution of Agnes Magnusdottir from Burial Rites book. A sad place.
Also via a “pretty rock” (Charlie’s turn of phrase) – which turned out to be pretty spectacular…
I collected some wild seaweed forms – might do something with these…
I also went up to Kalfshamarsvik further north on the coast to some completely amazing basalt cliffs – with crazy angles – tilted and uplifted and dragged down to result in some truly unbelievable formations…..
The mountain which overlooks us – Spakonufell – is like a grand stage set – rising up to overlook the small activities being acted out on the human settlement beneath. Its flanks are bathed in blue – lupins – and red – rocks – and I think the cliffs at the top are gabbro….witness to layering of lava and resistance to weathering.
And so to work. Making art. Difficult to know what to say here – firstly an immediate response to the landscape……but strangely this time NOT trying to DRAW what’s out there – but trying to respond in a more abstract way to the ideas that are presented by it.
The most important aspect of the landscape so far has been the HIDDEN HORIZON – on some days it is impossible to work out where it is… to work out which is cloud/mist/moutain/sea. It all seems to change so rapidly as mountains appear from beneath clouds and vice versa.
So some work began to take shape on large pieces of Fabriano paper and some smaller sheets. However, I do seem to be stuck in making rectangular pieces which work on the wall…and might eventually need to be framed in some way to display? A lot of this work was made with printing with my single roller. and masking off areas with newspaper sections… and working away until it seems to be ‘ finished’ – a decision I still find difficult to make…
I wonder about using the idea of DECONSTRUCTING components of a landscape and so working into a more abstracted set of relationships in the picture space…..I’ve been looking at the work of Marian Leven – (I so love her lightness of touch). And so as a result of the visit to the basalt cliffs….some individual shapes came out of my refections on this experience. I had been drawing the scene in front of me when I was actually at the site…
But the reflective work in the studio began to develop into a much more fragmented look at the actual shapes and angles I had seen there… so this is what happened at that point.
These drafts sat on the wall of my space for a while until I managed to work out that I wanted to make a couple of pieces with these black shapes as their main structure. So here they are:
I had cut a couple of square pieces of paper too, and I began to work on these with print marks as my priority for exploration. I wanted to keep these pieces really open and light – but they soon became heavy as I added some handwriting print marks to them.
I wrote the word Skagastrond backwards and liked the marks that made – my current issue is that I also want to add a bit of drawing to these works but can’t work out how to draw in white – until the black printing ink dries……..
Any way that’s where i have got to on today the midsummer solstice – longest hours of daylight and a full moon to boot. Any comments by any followers would be really welcome!