Possibly one of the most remote places you could imagine from Melbourne, I did wonder what I had got myself into when arriving in Olafsjordur in far Northern Iceland. I could hardly imagine a more alone place. Fitting, given the subject matter of my work, but also potentially devastating in the loneliness I may experience. The wind was intense, the snow had become ice on the road. I knew no one. And at almost 3 in the afternoon, the light was fading. I decided at least to get out my microphone and record the sound of the wind coming through the cracks of the window.
These photos are taken outside the apartment where I am staying – each way up the main road. And some mysterious detritus outside my front door.
Luckily I got to meet the other people on the residency at the coffee shop (where I had a $20 Irish Coffee, which was a bargain compared to the $25 block of cheese I bought) who have been here already for a month, and I will also be part of the winter festival: Skammdegi at the end of January. The pressure is on to make some work now responding to the place. There may be many people at this festival, or there may be a group of school children from the local school.
We took a walk around the venue where I will make a site-specific work. It is the local search and rescue centre. It took a while for me to grasp what it really was as others were referring to it as the rescue centre. I thought this might be a kind of metaphor and a starting point for the work. Emergency, rescue, disaster etc.
I also cooked a dhal and rice, adding some frozen spinach after a hot tip about bargain priced vegetables. Yes, delicious!