It’s not often I can report on art in other European cities so I thought I’d jump at the opportunity to add a worldly dimension to Golden Pulse.
I paid a visit to Iceland recently to check in with the Northern Lights and to go and point my finger at the volcano which caused us so much ash cloud back in 2010. While we were there, we wondered the streets of Reykjavik which was actually pretty easy to do given the scale of the capital city. It was nice to see boutique-stores and stunning street art sit next to each other along the long and narrow roads of Reykjavik.
I was surprised to see that Reykjavik has had a history of trouble with street artists, with the City of Reykjavik reporting in 2008 that 42 000m² of the city was covered – but when Reykjavik consists of 274,000 m² and Iceland consists of 103,001,000 m² – who is really counting?!
For a country that makes it’s money through tourism and fishing, it would only make sense that art validates culture which Icelandic folk can talk about on their tours and hop on hop off buses. After December 2012 when a crackdown had lead to the amount of Iceland graffiti being reduced it’s worrying to think that people roamed the streets with the distinct lack of colour which we saw when we visited. With places such as the Heart Park which have become focal points for tourism, it’s really great to see that now in 2014 they have seemed to have found a compromise.
Dillon’s Whisky bar featured this beautiful wall mural on the side of it’s courtyard which lead to an impromptu stop at the whisky bar later on.
To put this trip into perspective, we weren’t too sure about anything in Iceland before we arrived – infact, I just knew that one Icelandic word which Sigur Ros had taught me in one of it’s songs… ‘Takk’ (‘thankyou’ in English). In true Brit style we relied on the fact that pretty much everyone else in the world speaks or is learning to speak English so we didn’t even have to use takk – although I was very grateful at all times ofcourse (we may be lazy but we do always say thankyou in British wherever we go!)
This guide on how to tye up a tie felt distinctively hipster – maybe it’s the multiple mustaches? Maybe it’s the suggestion of everyone looking the same or the novelty of quite a simple process which could be marked as as a geek chic fashion statement if worn outside of a work environment. Either way, I had big respect for this.
The street art colours felt electrically charged and the cold light of day (during what little hours of daylight we did get) really illuminated the colours. I never saw graffiti which didn’t illustrate a number of talents and skills when it comes to using spray cans, and it added to the ordered and regimented style of the street layout and the overall cuteness of the city.
Information plucked from Grapevine