One of the things that struck me most during my time in Iceland was the colour palette, both in the natural and those made by human choice. I’m really not sure what I expected, maybe my previous visual experiences of the country had all been Iceland in winter dark earth covered by a deep layer of crisp white snow, I’m not sure. But the sheer intensity in the range of colour reached another level entirely and provided a feast for my eyes. These quick watercolour sketches are a small sample of my subsequent experiments with the landscape I experienced.
The luminosity of colour struck me so much, maybe it is the big skies, or long days of sunlight but there is a feeling of being on top of the world. For me my choice of translucent watercolour on brilliant white paper go a tiny way towards capturing this experience and feeling. I am not sure where this will lead but I am enjoying the journey!
Wherever I travel I will always gravitate towards flea markets or charity shops. Part of my practice is the searching out of photographs, postcards, stamps, documents and books from the place I am visiting then I will expolore the history of what I find. Iceland was no exception.Reykjavik has a flea market in the old Harbour close to where I was staying. A couple of hours rumaging brough up some proper treasures. This particular book began with a black and white cigarette card of a place called Siglufjörður. It is the most northern town in Iceland and also the name of the northern coastline.
I drew a map of Iceland and used a zine fold to fold it down to the size of the picture card and stitched the card on the front and a description on the back. The envelope case came from a first day cover from the flea market too.
Amazingly with all that’s going on in the world I had the opportunity to go to Iceland. I got to stay in a flat underneath a little museum in the old harbour area of Reykjavik for a couple of weeks to explore, draw and make some books. I explored outside of Reykjavik a bit and the thing that struck me the most was the colour. There is so much colour everywhere from houses to landscape. I have so enjoyed soaking up these colours partly because they are so different to home. Will post later some of my watercolour experiments. For now these two books were made from pages of Icelandic poetry, abstract marks using colours I’d seen on my road trips and a paper bag from a very good bread shop (I am going on my friends say so here as I am coeliac and couldn’t try any, although the smell was amazing!) So here they are my little nod to ‘A Sense of Place’ in Iceland.