Here are some of the drawings I have made at Skaftfell so far. I am trying to record both the larger features of the landscape as well as the small details such as the vegetation and the different textures of rock.
On Friday I flew from Reykjavik to Egilsstadir in the East of Iceland. From there I caught the bus to Seydisfjordur, which is a beautiful and remote port town with a big community of artists.
I am based at Skaftfell in Seydisfjordur for 10 days doing a research residency. During the residency I will be exploring the area around Skaftfell and gathering as much research on the geography as possible. I will be walking, drawing, making maps and taking photos. I am thinking of making a book about my time at the residency.
So far the sun has been shining and the snow is melting, making it a lot easier to get around and revealing different colours and textures in the landscape. I have also been meeting the other artists currently taking part in the residency at Skaftfell: Alexandra Ross, Halina Kleim, David Allen and Francesco Bertele.
Next stop on my tour around the different regions of Iceland was Vik on the South Coast. On the way I made a stop at Seljalandsfoss a waterfall on the road to Vik, where it was possible to walk behind the waterfall. Vik was a great base to explore the south. I went to the famous black beach to see the basalt rock stacks and the incredible cliffs. Puffins were fishing just off the shore and the white waves crashing onto the black beach was very dramatic.
The next day I drove along the coast to Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon where the Breidamerkurjokull glacier is melting into the sea, creating a lagoon full of icebergs. The ice that has travelled to the lagoon is approximately 1000 years old andthe lagoon is full of seals hunting salmon. The Vatnajokull ice field that Breidamerkurjokull is part of is the third largest sheet of ice in the world after the Antarctic and Arctic.
On the way back east to Reykjavik I stopped off at Myrdalsjokull glacier for a super jeep tour. It was snowing heavily and visibility was limited until suddenly the sun came out giving me a spectacular view from the top. The volcano Katla lives under Myrdalsjokull and is likely to be the next volcano to explode in Iceland. When it does it will melt some of the glacier and flood the land below with silty melt water, expanding the coastline by a few kilometres.
I went inland on my journey South to Pingvellir, Geysir and Gullfoss. The waterfall Gullfoss was very dramatic, the spray was freezing in layers creating icy mounds around the edges.
I hired a car and headed up the west coast to the Snaefellsness Peninsula to stay in Hellnar, a tiny place on the end of the peninsula at the base of Snaefellsjokull, the volcano and glacier that inspired Jules Verne in Journey to the Centre of the Earth. I spent the next few days walking along the coast exploring the volcanic rock formations, lava fields and black beaches.