Here I am sitting in the Highlands of Scotland, no snow around me, gentle winds and vivid colours, writing whilst reflecting back to my final week in Iceland which feels like a lifetime ago now.
It all seems like a slight dream. A completely intense and immersive experience which even though in 5 months felt like a lifetime it also went by way too fast and I’m now left thinking did that actually happen? All I can tell myself is yes, yes all of that beauty, wonderment and constant state of amazement I was in happened. Everything is different now, I went from living in the very north of Iceland shrouded yet protected by the most immense mountains I think I will ever witness, living with and working with a group of the most wonderful 23 artists from all over the globe in a town of only 800 people, remote yet absolutely amazing.
I’m now no longer living in that small town, I’m no longer able to go on a hike into the vast white mountainous regions of the north of Iceland, I’m no longer able to build an igloo out of the 10ft high mountain of snow outside my front door and I’m no longer able to simply be around some of the most wonderful people I have ever had the pleasure to spend time with and get to know in such a short space of time.
However, this now is my next chapter, as much as it was hard to leave Olafsfjordur and embark back to another part of my life, it still happened. If I was to dwell on the experience in this way thinking I am no longer able to do any of that then I would drive myself crazy. It’s very true that I know I have found a place where I can say I have been at my most comfortable, happiest and relaxed however I can go back there. It will never be the same experience I had just in the past 5 months there but I can reflect on it in a way that will always be close to my heart, I experienced all of it in the far north of Iceland and I’m very happy to say it happened.
I spent my last week in Iceland walking within the many mountain valleys and hiking trails as much as possible. I found it imperative to be outside in that white bright luminous sky and landscape every minute and I have to say Iceland gave us all the send off we needed. The last few days in the North were full of clear blue skies, crystal arctic seas, flat calm surroundings and some of the most incredible displays of the aurora I have witnessed since my move to Iceland way back in October.
I had the utmost pleasure of being able to work as artist in residence with two separate organisations in the far north, Nes and Listhus. I have learned a lot from my experience, I have met many many like minded people , I have made an enormous amount of art work, I have captured well over 10,000 or more photographs, I have seen the Northern Lights purple and bright green over the whole sky in the North and most importantly within all of that I experienced a dark winter in the wild untouched part of Iceland and I felt it all, I can definitely say it has changed me for the better; I survived it and and I absolutely loved it.
Iceland I will be back, your strength your people, your culture, your ethics and inspiring forward thinking lifestyle is something I am in awe of still to this day.
See you very soon.