I have been awarded a residency in the Herhusið studio, located in Siglufjörður, North Iceland. This month-long residency is a wonderful opportunity to travel north again and consider the Arctic from the boundary where it meets with the temperate zone.
Siglufjördur is a lively coastal town, caught between ocean, rock and glaciers. It was the capital of the North Atlantic Herring Fishery from 1903-1965, and is now home to the enticing 'Herring Era Museum'. I've been hoping to bring a fishy element into my work for some time (I grew up close to the Border harbour towns - St. Abbs, Eyemouth, Craster and Cullercoats - and have always been partial to mackerel). Now, with the economic and environmental challenges facing the fishing industry, it seems a more intriguing subject than ever.
I'll be accompanied on my investigations of the Herring Era by photographer Mark Walton, whose work has already appeared on these pages, and writer and broadcaster Carinne Piekema will contribute some sound science to the verbal/visual mix.
One of the good things about the residency is that it has already introduced me to the work of the fantastic artist Julia Lohmann who spent a month at Herhusið in 2009. Her kelp structures and maggotypes are extraordinary. Thanks to Julia for letting me use the images above from her blog about her residency.