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  • Janette Kerr Land of Ice

Icelandic ponies and pot luck

Wednesday – farm visit

We set off along the long straight ice road out of town, trailing along to the edge of town until we reach a cluster of buildings; this is the farm where we might buy eggs and get to pet Icelandic horses. We meet Frikki (not sure how that’s spelt, but it’s short for Frederick), and his partner.

Frikki has a dark red/purple beard, when I ask him what colour his hair is he pulls off his woollen hat to display a near shaved head. His partner has corresponding dyed dark red hair although you can't see it hidden under her woollen hat.

Frikki shows us a photo of his vintage tractor – clearly a pride and joy and painted the same purple and red. Says we can come by to hear the motor sometime if we want. They take us into the farm sheds out of the wind to see ducks and hens and bring in some of their Icelandic ponies, who seem happy enough to let us stroke their noses as they chomp away on hay.

Frikki tells me that he bought the farm before buying a house here – important to have a livelihood. He also says that he has a sixth-sense – inherited from his father who was a healer – and he can sometimes tell when something is wrong with someone if they touch him, but he can’t heal. I touch him but he says that it’s not all the time! He sees elves around the place from time to time and that there was one living here in the barn, but he hasn’t seen it for some time.. On the way here I saw a shape that definitely looked like a dancing elf – then it became a small tree… but maybe …

The snow is throwing interesting shapes on the way back

Sarah on the way back to town

Back to the studio to do some work but the light outside lures me out, even though it's getting a bit late and the sun is stating to set.

I walk to the wooden bridge and negotiate frozen slabs of ice to get to the beach, checking my cameras as I go. I’m worried the incoming storm might destroy them, but they’re frozen in place so hopefully will survive. I’ve shown the other artists here how to make them so all of us now have pinhole solar cameras attached to structures around Skagaströnd. I wonder what happens if the pinhole freeze. Maybe I need to go and check them all soon and take a pin with me.

As usual there some great light and shapes out here

I try to make a couple of drawings, but it’s so bitterly cold everything is freezing and I’ve forgotten to put vodka in my water again (painting not drinking!). Sonia come by and takes a few photos of me sitting there.

Despite all the layers I’m wearing I have to get up and dance about to get the circulation going. The sky turns apricot pink and I walk back to the studio in semi-darkness.

Tonight is the Nes artists’ pot-luck dinner and there is much cooking and negotiating space in ovens going on. We all – ten including Kerryn - sit down to a big 3 course meal and there is much talking and laughing, especially when whisky and grappa are brought out. A good way of bringing us all together for a while.

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