Finding bearings in Reykjavik #SIMResidency

The past few days have been much of a blur since finishing the residency with The Clipperton Project.

I arrived in Reykjavik to enjoy a few days as a tourist before starting my residency with The Association of Icelandic Visual Artists (SÍM) at Korpúlfsstaðir.

The residency is located in what used to be Icelands largest dairy farm, on the outskirts of Reykjavík with gorgeous view of Mt. Esja. Korpúlfsstaðir has 40 SÍM artist studios, a textile workshop, a ceramic workshop, an artist run gallery as well a golf club with a golf course outside. I have also heard you can get a good coffee from the golf course.

When I first arrived in Reykjavik, I stayed in a lovely AirBnB on Laugavegur, one of the main tourist streets. It was very handy to walk to lots of places including the Hallgrímskirkja Cathedral and museums and galleries downtown.

Hallgrímskirkja Cathedral

Hallgrímskirkja Cathedral

From first appearances Reykjavik is a very groovy and vibrant place, buzzing with galleries, cafes and designers. There are lots of small galleries located in the downtown area with lots of hand-made jewellery, wool work, painting and ceramics.

I invested in a 48 hour Reykjavik City Card, which was well worth it. ALthough I didn’t get to the local pools of do the ferry trip to Videy Island, I went to lots of museums and galleries.

Here is the quick and dirty list of where I have been the past couple of days – will share more details in later posts.

I started my art museum odyssey by going to a wonderful exhibition at the Museum of Photography titled Vanishing Culture – West Fjords by Þorvaldur Örn Kristmundsson.

Vanishing Culture – Westfjords Photographs by Þorvaldur Örn Kristmundsson

Vanishing Culture – Westfjords Photographs by Þorvaldur Örn Kristmundsson

Next stop was the The Reykjavik Art Museum (Hafnarhús), which is home to the Erró Collection, with works from the collection on display. Erró is one of the pioneers of pop art in Europe, and one of Iceland’s most well-known contemporary artists. There was also an excellent group show titled KINGDOM – Flora, Fauna, Fable, which focuses on contemporary art exploring a diverse range of themes connected to nature.

Work by Helgi Þorgils Friðjónsson

Work by Helgi Þorgils Friðjónsson

From there I headed over to the Settlement Exhibition which was really amazing. In short, it is an archeological dig of old Viking farm-house and around it has been built an interactive exhibition with artefacts, visual displays using haptics and sensors and a great 3D model of the farm-house you can interact with.

I then wandered over to the National Gallery of Iceland which had a beautiful exhibition on called LIGHTPAINT. The exhibition theme focuses on various aspects of paintings in photos of Icelandic contemporary art.

After a lot of walking and looking, I took myself to the Solir Yoga Studio to unravel myself from living on a boat for three weeks. I did an Yin class which was just bliss!

The next day I was out and ready for more museums, making my first visit to The Culture House, which has great show on titled Points of View. The exhibition has work from collections of six different cultural institutions and literally explores the perspective or positioning of the work. The themes include: up, again and again, mirror, inside, outside, from cradle and down.

A Visual Account of Earthly Creatures, Elnar Magnússon, 1689

A Visual Account of Earthly Creatures, Elnar Magnússon, 1689

Next stop was the National Museum of Iceland, which has a very interesting permanent collection as well as a temporary show about women and connections to working lives, A Woman’s Place.

Viking artefacts

Viking artefacts

There was some wonderful Viking artefacts, including hair combs and jewellery that really grabbed my eye.

Promotional image from the Weather Diaries

Promotional image from the Weather Diaries

My last visit for the day was to a stunning exhibition at the Nordic House titled The Weather Diaries. The exhibition was created by Sarah Cooper and Nina Gorfer and features poetic photographs and installations created in close collaboration with twelve artists and designers from Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

From the website:

Over the course of two years, Sarah Cooper and Nina Gorfer visited the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Iceland to explore the influence of traditions and the natural environment on local artists and fashion designers. As opposed to traditional anthropologists, who use their cameras to capture communities and their culture in a scientific manner, Cooper & Gorfer transform their observations into poetic stories told through images. They turn their impressions into staged photographs, adding layers of color, textures and symbolism.

The past two days have certainly exposed me to how rich and diverse creative arts and design are in Iceland – great food for inspiration!

More soon 🙂

PS – there is also great coffee in Reykjavik.

About

Tracey M Benson is a lover of travel, having a diverse background as an artist, writer and researcher. Working with online environments since 1994, Tracey's experience includes providing digital media, web and social media solutions to government, non-profit, private industry and tertiary sectors. Tracey has made many contributions to TripAdvisor and is now concentrating on writing about her love of travel and many adventures.

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Posted in Artist Residency, Waters of the Past
2 comments on “Finding bearings in Reykjavik #SIMResidency
  1. bytetime says:

    Reblogged this on Geokult Travel and commented:

    Tracey’s first blog post from Iceland 🙂

  2. Boz Schurr says:

    This looks like an excellent trip! I am going to be a resident in June 2017. Any advice you can give someone who is going to be there a month? (I’ve been to Iceland before, but only for a three day stopover). Mahalo! Boz

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