Category Archives: Art

Where is the Heart of Iceland?

A simple farm in the East, far from everything?

No, at the centre. This was the heart of some of Icelands greatest modern poems. Reykjavik is the wasteland here. What caught my eye was the oddness of this sewing machine and this bone, honoured on this picnic table.

What  held me was this poem by Krystján Einarsson. Just say it out loud. The sound is enough.

Know that when you drive away, you are leaving the heart for the hands, and you’ll have to come back.

Big Things Come from an Elvish Cat

In elf country, off in Borgarfjörður Eystri, you can never be sure. Is it a cat? A mouse? A cat and a mouse? Elves playing at both? Or a whole elvish family, complete with cat and mouse, all sharing a long tail?

It was in these dells that the boy Johannes Kjarval herded sheep and slowly became a painter.

Kjarval at Work and Play

No wonder.

It’s Complicated

Icelanders dress quite practically. So do tourists. There’s one on the right, in Akureyri.

But 66 Degrees North knows that we all like brightness. It brings us in the door. Then we buy the dull stuff.  This is complicated marketing! For example, this is what I came for in December:

And a couple times, this is what I got:

I was drawn into 66 North by the bright lights, but bought nothing. It’s a mysterious thing. Is it because Akureyri is only 65.8 degrees north? As for Reykjavik?

Well, that’s a mere 64 degrees north. What more needs to be said.

 

Reykjavik, or Akureyri? An Artistic Puzzle.

In Akureyri, the sculpture catches the sky.

Granted, the sky is falling, but still. In Reykjavik, however, the catchers are caught by the light. Granted, the light is an artifice, but still.

Somehow, it is the same impulse, one that Icelanders have been walking in circles around for 1100 years, as they try to figure it out. Out on Snæfellsnes, one just gives up and leaves it as an open gesture…

…while on Vesturgata in Reykjavik, one tries to shelter from the cold of that gesture and ignore the frostbite on the nose.

These are deep mysteries. One can only rejoice at the courage with which they are met!