Sometimes you see photos that make you think “I REALLY want to see this some day.” This is how I have always felt about the artworks of Samúel Jónsson. It’s hard to describe what they actually are – sculptures? Statues? Does it matter?
They are the results of the labour of a man who finally had the time to put his dream to life once he reached retirement. He offered an altar he made to his local church. It was rejected, so he built his own church around the altar.
I find it moving when someone is so passionate about their particular hobby. I found examples of this over and over in the Westfjords.
Part of the attraction of this place is also the remoteness, having to drive down a long and bumpy road down to the mostly-ghost-town of Selárdalur. The drive itself is very interesting, passing the fjord where most of Iceland’s sea-monsters are reputed to live, with beaches that are almost tropical in appearance and are worth a post of their own.
You might be thinking the site looks a little like a work in progress. The good news is that after 40 years, the site is slowly being restored and brought back to life by a dedicated group of volunteers. Work is underway both on the artworks and Jónsson’s original house.
I can see this might be a little “niche” for some people but this was one of the things on the trip that I liked even more than I thought I would! Apologies for the rain on some of the pictures, which was quite atmospheric but not popular with the camera.