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Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Only 18 days left in Skagaströnd....

I can't believe that I only have 17 days left in Skagaströnd.....
The time has gone so quickly and I feel that I haven't achieved enough yet. I am meeting with my friends Tom and Linzi on the 24th of February where we will spend some time in the South of Iceland before flying back to the UK on the 28th.

So today is Tuesday and we have had a hurricane warning! I'm so excited. I know I shouldn't be, but the idea of watching 110mph gusts of wind from the warmth of our little house is brilliant!!!

I have walked quite a bit since last I blogged and had an interesting experience on the cliffs in what felt like the middle of the night, but was actually 2am. Beautifully still, with only the sound of the waves crashing below me. I feel so privileged to be here and have made it my spiritual home, for the time being at least.

The northern lights are very difficult to find sometimes, as you know they are there, but you can't see them fully as they are too weak. Enter the Nikon D810. A stunning piece of equipment which can capture what the naked eye cannot see. I have a routine of pointing the camera to the northern horizon and exposing for around 30 seconds. If there is green, I know they are there, and then I can focus and guesstimate the correct exposure. This is what I did to capture the following images. It's a bit of a cheat, as the eye doesn't see this, but it is there...

very windy, but no green. The moon is stunning however

so this was my first look at Spakunofel with the tiniest bit of green on the right

just windy and nothing else
My first foray into blackness was a tad disappointing but I stuck it out and waited, knowing there were aurora to be found...

The rewards of waiting and hoping, scared of bears and shadows, and axe wielding maniacs.....

All of this was virtually invisible to the naked eye. But the aurora were going mad behind the clouds. Wonderful to get to the studio, pull up the exposure a little and find this.

I find it quite sad that people come to Iceland to see the Northern Lights for 2 or 3 days and feel disappointed when they don't see them. It's not an everyday occurrence and we are lucky, so lucky to get the bright displays dancing around the sky. Tonight is a very good prediction, but there are also 50mph winds..... Decisions, decisions. I will be safe, but I can't promise not to go out.

I am playing with the idea of creating images, abstract images for large scale prints, which explore the idea of the sublime. Anyone who knows me, understands my fascination with pathetic fallacy, the works of Turner and Blake to some extent. I feet that I may have some images which could convey some of the emotion of this intangible thing. I'm probably delirious however, and will look more carefully when I'm back in Blighty. I don't want to work in black and white - which I usually do, because there is so much colour. I also don't feel like creating layered pieces as the abstract ones could look good as they are...... Oh decisions decisions. One of the main reasons I haven't experimented with layers, is the major difference between a 12 inch MacBook and the 27 inch screen at home. I'll have to be patient.

In the meantime, here are a few of my recent car trip and around our own personal cliffs.

This is Caroline, one of my new housemates. She's fabulous and a writer from Holland

The village, looking fine, from the sea cliffs
Oh and in other news, the fallout from Thorablot, was that someone (not one of the artists) decided to go onto the roof of the community centre and the police were called. Everyone got ratted and ate all the food, danced and had great fun. There's a mantra of 'What happens at Thorablot stays at Thorablot' going around. Glad I wasn't there in some ways!! Can't keep a secret to save my life. Seems that the after parties went on until the morning. I was tucked up in bed, having consumed 3 G&Ts. Sad old git.

Tonight we are having a communal meal next door. I have made a giant veggie curry and Caroline and myself felt we should have a bottle of wine while cooking.... so that's gone. I am now far more appreciative of wine (or alcohol of any type) as it is very scarce. 

I am now going to have a little sleep in preparation for eating, drinking and being merry, in a hurricane....

Have a lovely evening.


Bless bless,


Aly x

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It would be great to hear your views or any questions you have about Iceland, Skagaströnd or the residency. Fire away!!