Iceland, Paradoxes and Trampolines: I / by Leah Pantea

THE BEGINNING: Creating and living in a small fishing village in Iceland for three months.

Skagastrond, Iceland, ~5.5 hours + 3 busses from Reykjavik

Skagastrond, Iceland, ~5.5 hours + 3 busses from Reykjavik

Building up to this trip has been such a chaotic experience from pulling together the most minimal wardrobe to preparing my (high drama!) oil paints for travel, that finally clambering into Skagaströnd was a sweet relief. This blip of a town features:

  • 1 gas station 
  • 1 market
  • 1 restaurant
  • 1 fortune-telling museum
  • 480 residents
  • countless: birds, horses, trampolines (correct, trampolines), and radiant sunset-rises

Needless to say, it has been a pretty easy to focus my energy toward exploring the rugged landscape, investing in the artist network here (NES Artist Residency), researching and creating the collection I am planning to develop out here. 

I am researching janusism or janusian thinking, a theory developed by Albert Rothenberg. This theory discusses opposing principals that come into being at precisely the same moment, and are dependent upon each other for even fathoming the other, i.e. Taoism, night/day, visible/invisible etc. Rothenberg concludes that it is through this mode of janusian thinking that Einstein thought of the theory of relativity! I find it really inspiring, thinking about these paradoxes with my work. I have been working on paper and applying washes of Icelandic-inspired abstractions and patterns, only to paint over with a hazy fog of white, leaving just a glimmer of the content that remains underneath. I enjoy seeing just hints of the forms instead of it being very clear, making it simple to imagine the work as empty, but also imagine it full of pattern, texture and color. Through the physical act of adding with the intention of removing I am practicing janusism. (So far I don't have any complete works, so stay tuned, I will post them into "Janus" as they are completed, so hold onto your britches!!)

This is just the beginning though. I am practicing being vulnerable and available to change and connections. I think it is really crucial to my heart and my work, that I remain open. I am still maintaining my morning pages (three pages, every morning, train-of-thought, including affirmations), in which it seems all I do is repeat how amazing it is that I am finally here, and I can't believe how beautiful it is and my spacious heart feels. Ahhhhhhh...

Reading:

Playlist:

  • The Rise of the Creative Class: Richard Florida
  • Hell No: Ingrid Michaelson
  • Rising Water: James Vincent McMorrow
  • Bad Self Portraits: Lake Street Dive
  • Saint Valentine: Gregory Alan Isakov
  • Big Umbrella: Jonah Smith, Andy Stack

UGH, Iceland, you're too good!

Follow along with me on Instagram! (below, user: ____llp____)