All posts tagged: Iceland

A journey through the dark heart of Iceland

“I was asked to photograph a concert for one of the bands, and from the get-go I was visualising a book,” says Icelandic photographer and musician Verði ljós. “Black metal bands have a really strong look. It’s like its own aesthetic world.” His book Svartmálmur is a portrait of Iceland’s thriving black metal scene, designed to take the reader on a journey akin to listening to an album. ljós is also known as Hafsteinn Viðar Ársælsson, founder of solo black metal project Wormlust, and was able to give an insider’s insight into the genre – which though celebrated overseas, is often overlooked back home. “The only [local] media that ever mentions its existence is a Reykjavik tourist magazine not even aimed at the natives,” he says. “It’s partly why I wanted to document us. The scene is singularly important culturally and I’m proud that I was the one to photograph it.” Familiar with the “awkward dance macabre between the band and the photographer” from both sides of the lens, ljós was keen to show off …

2018-05-22T11:03:04+00:00

Sophie le Roux’s dreamlike Icelandic landscapes

When was the first time you became aware of photography? How old were you? One of my favourite books as a child was a photographic book on Iceland that I found on the street with my Mum. It contained so many wonderful film spreads of Iceland (mostly aerial shots, and a lot of sheep farming). I am deeply attached to the book and take it wherever I go. I always vowed to go to Iceland as soon as it was possible. I went, last month, and finally got to take pictures of my own. One day I would like to see it in a helicopter, if I keep down my carbon footprint for a bit. How did you learn to become a photographer? I was taught how to use a darkroom by a few people at various stages during my childhood. I have barely any technical knowledge yet. I’m working on that. I started off working with an SLR, so learned the basics, but then went to digital for several years before returning to film. …

2016-11-21T19:25:08+00:00

Heading to the Northern Lights in search of true believers of magic

Two years ago, while attending a residency in northern Iceland, 32-year-old Catalan photographer Bego Antón came across an unusual course. “I stumbled across a website for the Icelandic Elf School,” she says. “I was amazed to find that you can actually graduate in elf issues. So I started investigating this hidden world.” So began The Earth is Only a Little Dust Under Our Feet, a project exploring Icelanders’ steadfast belief in magic. According to Antón, who was selected for last year’s Joop Swart Masterclass, 54 percent of people on the island believe in elves, trolls, fairies, monsters and ghosts. “The people here would never throw a stone in the air in case they hit an elf,” she says. “They are known to build roads with a deliberate kink to avoid bulldozing a rock where elves live. I wanted to find these magical beings and see them with my own eyes.” Antón met dozens of Icelandic people across the country who have “the gift” – the ability to see and communicate with these creatures. “Icelanders are really open and …

2015-11-03T12:52:22+00:00

BJP Staff