A little house in the middle of nowhere.

View from the bay with the ferry that comes once a week from Denmark.

So it’s been over a week since I fell out of many planes and landed on the edge of an island in the middle of the Atlantic. That makes it sound a bit more dramatic, but sometimes that’s how it feels here. The basics:

Sun. Yes, it’s here, though I’ve only seen it directly once. It rises around 9 AM and it’s dark by 4PM. That definately takes some getting used to, but I’m working on it.

Weather. Cold, windy, constantly precipitating. These two photos below were taken about 10 min apart. You can see how quickly it changes.

From my backyard

About 10 min later.

When I first arrived it was in the teens and snowy. About 13 inches of snow fell in two days. Then more snow, and now it’s finally warmed up to 35! So of course all the snow has melted and the roads are nothing but slush paths. It’s amazing how well they drive it in.

Food. The way this residency is set up, I’m living alone in this house, so most the time I cook for myself. This means no sheeps heads, putrified shark meet, or pickled cod…yet.

Northern lights. Except for a brief glimpse on my way in, I haven’t fully experience these guys yet either. But I’m constantly looking.

Vampires, polar bears, elves, trolls. No, haven’t seen any of these guys yet either. Although Christmas is a big deal here (check out the pic of the tree in the bay), and I’ve spotted a couple Santa’s running around- in Iceland there’s not just one but 13 of them.

Town Christmas tree in the lagoon. Not sure how they got it there?

Overall, I’m feeling more settled than when I first arrived. Some furniture rearranging and putting art up on the walls, and it’s starting to feel like my space, not just someone else’s house that I’m renting. As for the house, it was formerly owned by this Icelandic conceptual artist, BIRGIR ANDRÉSSON. So I’m hoping for some good juju to rub off.

As for the people, honestly I haven’t met too many of them yet. This is a small town (pop. 800) and a smaller one in the winter (500). But from my limited experience so far I’ve found Icelanders to be friendly and helpful, but not outwardly so. It takes a minute for them to open up. But I’ve been amazed at how well most of them speak english fluently. As for my Icelandic? Well lets just say I’m working on that too.

About half of my cozy studio/living room.

Art making is chugging along too. It’s totally daunting having this much time to just focus on art. A little overwhelming actually. I started by making a lot of drawings at first and now I’m moving towards a couple sculptures. The problem so far is that there just isn’t much material here. So, I’ve been using mostly what I found in the house or what I brought with me (paper).

The other half, with some drawings.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading!

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About Matt Jacobs

Matt Jacobs is an artist and writer based in Kansas City, Missouri. He holds a BFA in Sculpture and Art History from the Kansas City Art Institute. His work has been exhibited internationally in Iceland and Italy as well as throughout the U.S. including Texas, California, and New York. In addition to maintaining a studio practice, Jacobs also pursues critical activities such as writing and curating. He has curated several exhibitions in the Kansas City area including “Twenty Something” at City Arts Project and at the H+R Block Artspace’s Biennial Flatfile exhibition. His writing has appeared in Art Tattler, Review Magazine, and Glasstire.
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15 Responses to A little house in the middle of nowhere.

  1. Matt, will be so interesting to see how this beautiful place & atmosphere gets absorbed into your work! quite the opposite of chinati! take care, Marcie

    • Matt Jacobs says:

      Thanks Marcie! Yep, this is quite a different place from Marfa, but I’m actually finding a lot of similarities (maybe that’s a topic for the next post). So far the weather has kept limited how much I can explore, so I’m mostly in my studio. I can’t tell if it’s connected or not (wink), but my work is getting more colorful.

  2. Joan Prendergast says:

    Keep writing Matt, it’s fascinating. Enjoyed your photos. Have a good week…Mrs P

  3. Sydney Feeney says:

    HI Matt:
    What you are doing takes a lot of courage and commitment. I am proud of you. It looks like you will have plenty of time to hunker down and do just your art. Keep up the posts. The first one was fabulous and I do love the photos. Good luck and I send some holiday cheer. Sydney Feeney

    • Matt Jacobs says:

      Thank you very much. I can’t tell you how nice it is to see this much support. It’s great to know that people are interested out there. I’ll keep the photos and posts coming!

  4. Hi Matt,

    have a very happy Christmas and a great 2012. Keep the posts coming. Can’t imagine myself to be there though, with Marfa already feeling too cold!!!

    Good luck! What about temporary snow sculptures? And I’m not talking snowmen….

    All best,

    Bettina

    • Matt Jacobs says:

      Haha, yep it’s pretty cold here. To be honest I think I’ll stick to my warm little house for a while. Between the cold and the limited daylight, I think any kind of outdoor work would take a lot guts. Thanks for the suggestion though!

  5. dennis says:

    Hey Matt –
    That big white, minimalist RADIATOR in the studio looks really inviting.

    [ d ]

  6. Michele Fricke says:

    HI Matt – I’m so glad to read what you’re doing and see where you are doing it. I’ll be so anxious to see how this experience shapes the next phase of your work! Have a great holiday!

    Michele

  7. Aunt Pam says:

    Hey Matt! What a great opportunity for you to study there. I am sure this experience will inspire you for years to come! More pictures, please!!
    Aunt Pam

  8. Sharon says:

    Can’t say I envy your weather there, looks frigid! Hope all is well and you have a terrific time. Love the pics.

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