In May and June 2015 I travelled to Ólafsfjörður in Northern Iceland to take part in a artist residency. I wanted to challenge myself personally, physically and artistically. The residency fulfilled all of these and was the perfect place to begin to work with found objects from the environment that had a direct connection to the time and place. I worked mainly in 3D sculpture, with a developing video and photography practice alongside. These photos will provide a valuable reference for the work that will continue to come out of this Iceland experience.
Photo images by Susan Mabin. 2015
On the Shore
Sat on the rocky beach, the sea
Breathes grey infinite sighs,
Each breath like a loved one’s
Final lungful of Life.
The waves wheeze and wheeze,
Each exhale collapsing
And dragged back out to sea.
The cycle’s stutter repeating.
Every single breath leaves
Its symptom on the strand;
Often a curdled froth,
Today, a digested old can.
Instead of a rock or a shell,
I pocket the can to bin.
So, tomorrow, you may come
And pick it from the shore, again.
©Stephen De Burca
Artist Participant at Listhus Iceland Artist Residency June, July 2015
Some of the 3D sculptures made and exhibited in Ólafsfjörður. Iceland.
©Artworks and images for Smother Nature Exhibition by S. Mabin. 2015
While wandering around Ólafsfjörður and the surrounding area mostly on my own, I took hundreds of photos. I wanted to have myself in some of those photos so started taking the occasional selfie photo. I decided to paint some selfies in honour of the old fashioned and traditional way of saying 'I was here' and to add value to my experience of being in one beautiful area in Iceland more fully (for two months) than a 'snapshot' does. Also having no choice but to spend large amounts of time on my own, in this particular experience without unwanted distractions and even without 'wanted' distractions, made the experience not just about the 'place' but in many ways very intensely about 'self.' Looking back at these portraits now I find they bring the experience of being 'there' back to me far more vividly than any of my photographs.