In honour of our Mother Earth following Earth Day on April 22nd, Lasta explores the connection between the multifaceted beauty and visuals of Icelandic nature, and the influence and place it has within design and the collective Icelandic creative tapestry.
From flowing Lava fields and rich volcanic soil, to the captivating glaciers and ice flows, to the elfin creatures that live within the earth and soil of the nation itself, the nature of Iceland is unparalleled on Mother Earth. There is no country in the world with such dynamic and breathtaking nature, environment and spirit.
“When you live in a country which moves alarmingly under your feet every five years or so with an earthquake or a volcanic eruption, you face, like the saga heroes of old, a choice of two courses of action, neither of them good: Either to flee the country and all its hazards, or to stay and brave them out. For more than 1100 years the people of Iceland have chosen to stay and brave them out.” –Magnús Magnússon
Anyone who has been to Iceland knows, we mere mortals are at the mercy of the energy and will of ever-powerful Mother Nature. Warmed by the Gulf Stream to the West, the dormant skeletons of once violent volcanoes scattered across the country amongst those still explosive, active and fierce with fire, Iceland is a uniquely vibrant combination of natural forces at work. A land foraged and shaped by the omnipresent forces of Mother Nature, the dynamic beauty of the nature of Iceland has remained an overflowing resource of inspiration, fueling creative Icelandic minds for centuries.
Through these centuries of the unrelenting and almighty menace of the power of Mother Nature, the people of Iceland have not only celebrated the unmatched beauty of their remarkable homeland through creation and design, but have learned to exist within the strength and energy of nature, and harness its awesome power to thrive and prosper against the harsh Northern Winds.
It is safe to say that the many incredible features of the Icelandic eco-system may end up being more of a creative burden than a blessing. No other country on earth has such a vast plethora of natural features, each one more stunning than the last, When presented with such an incredible amount of choices, I might spend forever trying to decide!
However, one of the most captivating and alluring phenomena in the world has been a centerpiece of inspiration throughout many aspects of Icelandic design, from textiles to wearable art, the Northern Lights have remained an omnipresent and unwaveringly beautiful feature of the country’s art and design.
A simple image of this incredible phenomenon is captivating enough to catch your eye, but the real magic happens when artists and designers integrate this beauty into their own creations, resulting in a stunningly fascinating new pairing. Designer Budda utilizes the ease of silken flowing fabrics as the canvas for the colourful visual remnants of these stunning natural scenes, culminating in a garment that possesses not only a striking presence of colour and print, but also embodies the organic fluidity of the lights themselves.
The vibrant eco-system of Iceland is home to a vast array of thriving plant life and dynamic geology, which in turn make up home to the plethora of creatures that call the country their home. Jewelry designer Guðbjörg Kristín Ingvarsdóttir of Aurum draws much of her inspiration from the animals of the Icelandic earth, sea and skies. Delicate metals formed artfully and diligently into shapes of aquatic and terrestrial anatomy, exalting the long-standing relationship between the people of Iceland and the life-giving ocean. Innovative textures and material treatments, some sourced directly from the earth they represent, bring the life and energy of the earth to these delicate and intricate pieces.
Not only has the beauty and stunning visuals that make up Icelandic nature been an endless resource for creative inspiration, the power and energy that hallmark the unpredictable and almighty weather of this isolated Nordic land have fueled creation and innovation, becoming a driving force behind designers and artist’s producing creations that will protect you from the fierce elements.
The team behind Feldur Workshop have taken the fearsome frozen winds of Iceland and used them as inspiration to create pieces that will protect from the harshness of the frozen winter. Thoroughly practised and studied, Heiðar Sigurðsson and his wife Kristín Birgisdóttir produce accessories designed to shield from the frozen Northern winds out of the highest quality materials straight from the earth and it’s creatures. These pieces are intended to be the barrier between humanity and nature, to protect and allow them to interact and thrive together.
Our Earth is our only home. We must care for, respect, admire and love the land, the sea, the skies and all the creatures that call them home. We too are part of the global environment, and co-exist with the power and beauty of nature and her elements. Celebrate the beauty of the earth through creation, just as these inspired Icelanders have, and appreciate the beauty and majesty of Mother Earth, for she is the only home we have. <3