It’s been a busy final week in Iceland. We had an open studio day at Listhus to celebrate the June residency which went really well. I just left my studio as it was with everything I had made in the last month on the walls.
I also went on a horse trek through a valley in the mountains near Dalvik. The valley was also a bird reserve and it was full of geese, ducks, Arctic terns, snipe and lots of others. From horse back you get a different view of the landscape. I could see a lot more of the marshy valley floor and I was even able to spot some nests full of eggs. The ride was fantastic and my horse was called Bjork!
I did a final hike along the fjord in Olafsfjordur with Susan and Claudette from Listhus. We followed the cliff trail out of the fjord around the coast into the next valley. The night of the cliffs rising above us was really unusual for Iceland. The bare rock towers in the mountains in the next valley reminded me of black meringues.
I was given a trout caught in the lake in Olafsfjordur this weekend and I thought I would try and take a print from it. It was quite difficult, the oily fish resisted the relief ink which was quite heavy. I think if I try this again it would help to loosen up the ink a bit, but I managed to get a few prints.
Here are some of the drawings and prints I have made over the last week in response to the landscape around Olafsfjordur and my trip to the Arctic Cirle. My studio at Listhus is gradually filling up as I hang all of the prints up to dry. It is also really useful to be able to see everything at once. I’m very interested in the rock formations that I have been seeing and the prints and drawings I am making are almost proposals for sculptures.
On Friday I took the ferry to Grimsey Island, which is 3 hours by boat North of mainland Iceland. The weather was fantastic and I was able to hike all around the small island in the 4 hours I had before the return ferry. 90 people live there, and most work in the fishing industry.
The island is home to thousands of sea birds like arctic terns, gulls, razorbills, eider ducks and puffins. There were puffins living all along the cliffs around the island and even more out to sea fishing. I had really been looking forward to seeing puffins during my trip and there were thousands of them on Grimsey.
I followed to coast line heading North to the top most point of the island, taking me into the Arctic Circle. It is the furthest North I have ever been.