For the second in this ‘The Things I’ve Seen In The North’ series, I’m going to be sharing images from Sweden, Norway and Iceland.
I have been a fan of the art of the late Swedish artist John Bauer for well over a decade. My very first tattoo was done primarily in his honour. So when I went on a solo trip around Scandinavia in 2010 The John Bauer Museum in Jönköping, Sweden was a MUST see. I can remember catching sight of my grin as I peered through glass covered cabinets or early sketches and letters written to his wife and son. I wrote a letter to Bauer some years ago, and found it when I went rooting around the internet. Here’s an extract.
I went to Sweden last year. One of the main reasons was you. I went to the John Bauer museum in Jönköping, where you are from. The rain was unforgiving, and it was long train ride from where I was staying. But I would have travelled for days if I had to. I was disappointed to find that the tour around the small museum that had been advertised on the internet didn’t actually exist, so I made my own way around the small space, housing your work, photographs, letters and materials. The majority of the text explaining the items was in Swedish, but this didn’t deter me. My face started to hurt almost as soon as I had arrived, for my smile was wider than it had ever been. I wandered around, slowly, taking in everything. Photographs of your wife, the paintbrushes you used, the letters you sent, the sketches of the famous images that have a permanent home in my brain. I bought every postcard that was available, so I could take a little part of you home with me.
In 2011 I spent three months in Iceland working as a conservation volunteer, and to this day I still need to pinch myself. Iceland isn’t a country which can be effectively described through words. It’s a country you need to see, a country you need to experience. The image here is one of our work locations at Thórsmörk
Another shot from Iceland, this time from a place called Barnafoss where we were working for a week. There’s many folk tales linked to this river, including one of two children who, when bored one Christmas day, decided to try and cross a natural stone bridge. However, they became dizzy, fell into the water and drowned.
I’ve taken hundreds, if not thousands of photos of Norway over the years, but this one is a particular favourite. I was staying in a little village an hour outside of Oslo, with magnificent forests just five minutes walk away. This photo was taken in April, after the last snow had melted from the trees. I wanted to capture the fog before it sank and dissapeared.