It has been a busy few days as I travelled north to Olafsfjordur. I spent two nights in Akureyri, the largest city in Iceland after Reykjavik. I used my day there to ride an Icelandic horse at a nearby farm. I had been looking for the opportunity to go riding since being in Iceland because the horses are so integral to the landscape. The horses are unique to Iceland as they have been isolated for so long and so they are small and very sturdy very well adapted to the harsh weather. They also have a fifth gait that called a tjolt which other horses lack. The riding tour went along Eyjafjordur and was a fantastic way to see the landscape around Akureyri.
After the riding session I went to the Akureyri Museum where there was a great exhibition on maps of Iceland. The maps often depicted fictional animals rumoured to be living on Iceland which for a long time was a mystery to the rest of Europe.
On Monday I caught the bus to Olafsfjordur, which is an hour north from Akureyri on the Trollskagi Peninsula. It is the furthest North I have travelled and the temperature is dramatically colder. Since I arrived it has been snowing most of the time. The mountains are completely covered with snow and are very dramatic. I will now be based at Listhus in Olafsfjordur for the next month.
I caught the bus up the coast to Siglufjordur yesterday, which is another fishing town and went to the fantastic Herring Museum. The town used to be the centre of the fishing industry in Iceland, mainly fishing herring to be dried and exported, until the herring went away in 1968. The musuem has a fish procesing factory full of fascinating machinery to walk around. I also really liked being able to go on one of the fishing boats.
Today I have spent the day in my studio at Listhus making mono prints from the photographs I have been taking while exploring Iceland. I am isolating particular forms and trying to look at them without the context of the whole landscape.