A Little Less Romantic

So it goes with a new place, the first while is seen through rose colored glasses, and such is the case for me here. I still feel quite romantic about this whole experience, but a little bit of reality is creeping back in. I spent a few days this week on client work. Design is fun, so I enjoyed the work, but it has kept me from making much progress on my project. Plus, being one prone to procrastination, it’s easy to get distracted. Yesterday was sunny with clear skies—the first time since I’ve been here—so I took a very long walk. I walked the opposite direction of the bird attack of last week, and it was a much better experience. I was really struck by the juxtaposition of the gorgeous serene landscape and the presence of industrial remains. Abandoned rusted machinery, crumbling walls, a tire here or there, all set before a snow capped mountain landscape or rolling stony hills filled with these gorgeous purple wildflowers. I love it. It’s old and older.

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After the walk, we took a little road trip to Egilsstaðir for groceries and a little fun, of course. It was such an idillic day. It felt like we were in a dream-state, taking way too long to get groceries and floating around to other stores and buying nothing. Good day.  I really enjoy the group of people in this residency. Everyone brings a different flavor, and we all come together to make something quite lovely. We’ve gathered for a few potlucks, using the random foods we have left, made in random dishes not intended for the use we’ve needed. A lot could go wrong when you bring a bunch of people from different backgrounds with different personalities, but also something so right can happen. I’m happy it’s the latter.


All that said, today’s foggy rain put me in a mood. I spent the day working on some mail art to send out. I think I finished 3-4 pieces to send out hopefully this week. Your guess is as good as mine as to when they’ll get to their recipients. While I was working with my hands, I spent time thinking about the project that brought me here. There is something in the notion of old and older, in the presence of beauty in ruins. Memories of the past don’t have to hold us back from building something new. Rob Bell talks about all change being a loss that needs to be grieved. And in my research on memorials and design after loss, it’s been very clear that unresolved grief can be dangerous. In this town, it was a great loss when the fish factory closed. The Creative-Center emerged from the ashes. The remains of old amidst the growth of something new. That book I ordered on Icelandic Runes came in. I’m interested in the symbolism in them. Some are a little odd, but many are really hopeful. There is a rune to protect sheep or to bring in a good catch. For protection or good dreams. I want to play with using them in the spaces around the factory where remnants of old are still present, captured in a moment passed. There is a lot of hope in Stöðvarfjörður, and I want to show that.

It’s still a bit too foggy to get the kind of photos I’d need for this. So in the meantime, a little bit of practice, client work, and mail art. Oh, and here are some pictures of this local lady’s super intense rock collection that took over her whole house/yard and is now a tourist attraction. The top postcard collage is using her adorable face, front and center. These collages represent my impressions of this crazy, beautiful place. Cheers!


This lady was a little strange, but I love her. Hero material, for sure