We left Reykjavík one summer evening in July. We drove through sleepy fields, majestic fjords and small towns by the north Atlantic ocean. We were headed to Aðaldalur, a grassy green valley with rivers and mountainous linings in the north of Iceland. So far north, that the sun doesn´t quite set at that time of year.
I had been invited along on the this "spur of the moment and I have no clue why I´m doing this" trip, a few nights before - because I happened to exit a random bar in downtown Reykjavík at 04 in the morning, the same time as this writer – yup, my new travel companion. I remember having noticed him, a modest figure with blue eyes, combed back hair and a beard, standing by the bar, at the club that was about to close. I didn´t think much of it at the time, but did remember him, when I received an "out of the blue" message on messenger, the day after. He had gotten my name from a friend that I left behind at the closing bar.
The further we drove from the capital, the closer the sun got to the horizon, painting the sky above us red and gold in the process. We both talked about how sunsets make for really cliché pictures. Pictures that we would certainly never frame. Never-the-less, we ended up stopping four or five times to take about one million pictures of the sunset. When we arrived in Aðaldalur valley, a little after two in the morning (very late, due to all the pictures), the fog was waiting. Perfectly settled along the damp valley floor, exactly the way it is depicted in the book I was reading.
My condition for going along on this trip was a copy of the award winning book on poetry "Prisoner of the Ground-Mist" (Í klóm dalalæðunnar), signed to me, the person that the writer did not know at all, and that had come along on this crazy trip to the north in a blink of an eye.
The three Art-Prints: Absence, Missing and Change in the collection Sindri Freysson and Maria Panduro are my visual representation of the setting summer sun through the fog in that valley. In each print there is a poem from the above mentioned book by Sindri. My criteria for my own visual representation or design has always been, "I´m going to try to create something that I can bare to look at for a long time." For example: I can NOT bare to look at printed pictures of sunsets. The result: the prints are an abstract representation of the valley, because anything realistic, feels wrong to me. I feel that the beauty and magic of that valley, in those conditions, has to be experienced by being there. And yes, go there in the middle of the night, and hopefully the fog will be waiting for you like it did for me.
It is no surprise to people that know Sindri, that he is a big fan of Bowie. Maybe he always has been. But I know that his interview with the performer in the late 80s in New York made an impression on him. One of his big regrets is not having posed for a picture with the performer. Sindri he told me, he didn´t feel it was appropriate at the time, maybe just a little bit to "uncool."I admit, I was quite taken by the fact that he had interviewed Bowie and so, as a tribute to "them" (and also because I like the LOOK of it), I scrambled the letters in "absolute beginners" (with an additional "s" for Sindri) - in the image change. For the record, I follow Iman on Instagram, and recommend her inspirational posts (haven´t tried her cosmetics).
I choose the three poems from Sindri's book pretty randomly. The book is unfortunately not available (yet) in English but can be purchased in Icelandic, in bookstores. The funny thing is that I remember having picked up this exact book, when it was first published. It was lying on a table with new books on display in the bookstore Mál og Menning on Laugavegur in Reykjavík. I browsed through it, laughed at a fews funny remarks in the beginning of the book and I remember that I read them out loud to my brother that was hanging out in the bookstore with me. Funny, that approximately a decade later, I would experience the content of the book in "real time." A trip to this valley in the north.
And yes, that is ironically what the book is about (in a broad context) - the writers trip to "his" valley in the north, life in general as a journey and the existence of beauty in absence, missing and change.