Art Adventures in Iceland
It’s my first full day here on Hrisey island (called the “Pearl of Eyjafjörður”) for my art residency at the Old School Art House in northern Iceland. I arrived in Akureyri, the closest city (pop. 18,000), and spent my first night there (sleeping a glorious 12 hours after my long trip!) and planned on making my way to the island yesterday by bus. I discovered, however, that no buses run on Saturdays! Fortunately I had a contact number to call and was able to catch a ride with a local last night. From Akureyri it’s a 30 minute drive and a 15 minute ferry ride to Hrisey .
I unpacked and settled into my room yesterday evening and then (despite the light skies) slept another 10 hours in my comfy bed.
My new home for the next month…
I have a private bedroom with shared living-room, kitchen, bathroom, laundry and a studio space. There are three other artists here with me… a film-maker from Belgium and two “sound artists” (electronic) from the US. (They use headphones and it’s very quiet!).
So today I just settled in and went exploring a little…
Wind, Birds and The Fountain of Energy… Exploring the Land
It’s pretty cold here right now (about 5 degrees C) so I bundled up and headed out towards the cliffs. I came to the “Fountain of Energy”, a place to sit and meditate while listening to the sounds of nature… the wind, the sea and the multitude of birds… while receiving the peaceful energy from the mountain Kaldbakur across the fjord.
There are over 40 species of birds on this island, and right now it’s nesting season. A large part of the island is a bird conservation area where eider ducks come every year to nest. The soft eiderdown are humanely gathered every spring after the eggs have hatched (there are no predators on the island).
Although there are a few smaller trees around town (not much taller than me!) most of the land is rocky with small shrubs and wild flowers scattered about, creating pretty bursts of colour and a gentleness in this vast, rugged land.
And the wind!
I love watching the birds soaring around the cliffs in the wind…
Tomorrow I’ll check out the town’s amenities…