What is about Iceland that I love so dearly? A resonance of my childhood, those mountains in Italy during the summer, my lost innocence, the joy that only a child can feel. Its nature is so pure and untouched.
II have been coming to the “Rock” since 2013, staying at several artists residencies around the island. I arrived at Listhús in 2014 and I have been back many times since then.
There are many reasons why I kept going to this residency.
Ólasfjorður is a fishing village enclosed among mountains where the sea and the lake come together, the sky surprises you continuously, and the locals welcome you.
It is secluded enough and at the same time the village has everything that you need. The bus to go to Akureyri leaves three times a day, or you can easily visit Siglufjorður up north, or Dalvik down south.
The landscape is just stunning, and there are multiple trails all around you. The swimming pool is one of the best in Iceland, and if you are brave enough you can swim at the black beach or at the lake.
Throughout the years I have made many friends, both with my collies and with locals, I have had an opportunity to be part of the community.
I also connected with Alice right away, both being emigrant and sharing many interests. She and I spent some lovely time hiking, talking about ourselves and he residency. Her husband Siggy would tell many stories around the big table during our dinners with the artists. We also went fishing together.
I have always admire Alice, this woman from Honk Kong, who was able to create Listhús and to make it into an artist’s global hub. She implemented festivals and special events, at times the residency hosted up to sixteen guests.
In 2016 I had the privilege to become a board member.
This year I was the host artist and I stayed for 100 days.
I was the one to help close Listhús at the end of September. We only had one house, the original space was already gone, and the artists mostly stayed for shorter periods. I enjoyed taking care of the residency and their guests.
I made some paintings and several drawings about my trails. I wrote quite a bit, and I read books and essays.
It has been sad to say goodbye, Listhús will be missed by many, and its absence will have a big impact on the village.
I loved coming back to the same place. Every time I have been able to find inspirations and create different things. From painting and drawing more traditional landscapes to work on reflections, to making books, always trying to find the essence of what I was looking at.
I need to get lost once in a while and to leave everything behind and to go into the unknown. It gives me time and space to reflect and find myself.
When I try new things, new places, when I’m in situations that could be uncomfortable, is when I learn about who I am, and what I am capable of doing.
I have spent hours just looking at the clouds, sitting at the bench near the lake, going to the beach and listening to the sound of silence. It has been an amazing experience and it has enriched my life immensely.