It feels very natural to gravitate towards words as a way to deepen my engagement with Iceland. The written word brings order to my thinking, so I keep a journal. I read another’s words to connect with the past, and see the world from a new perspective. Icelanders value words, trading them like coins passed from hand to hand over generations. As a people, they have created a monumental word-hoard, over 15,000 manuscript volumes, held at the National Library of Iceland and the Árni Magnússon Institute in Reykjavik. Verbal and scribal traditions are a unique feature of Icelandic culture and identity that thrives still today.
This Fall, during a two-month residency in Iceland, I’ll continue my exploration of Icelandic place through the words of Sighvatur Grimmson, an alþýðufræðimaður, a peasant scholar and scribe from the mid nineteenth-century. I am excited and curious about how exposure to the Icelandic word-hoard will influence my artwork.
I created a Kickstarter campaign, Icelandic Arc, in support of my visual arts residency which will begin with one week of research at the National Library of Iceland. I'm enlisting subscribers for several hand-printed woodcut editions and landscape paintings that I'll make in Iceland during my residency. If you're interested in my artwork, this is a great opportunity to snap something up for very little money. The editions are limited, and the campaign ends on June 20, 2015. Don't miss out!