Drawn to the West Fjords by the region’s beauty, artists Nína Ivanova and Ómar Smári Kristinsson decided in 2005 to make Ísafjörður their home. They tell Zoë Robert how they found their dreams in the small coastal town.
Published in the 2013 April-May issue of Iceland Review – IR 02.13. By Zoë Robert. Photos by Áslaug Snorradóttir.
We really appreciate this kind of beauty,” Nína Ivanova says, glancing out at the fjord just visible from the dining room corner window of their house in Ísafjörður, the largest town in the West Fjords, located within the fjord Ísafjarðardjúp. “It was the main reason we moved here. It’s hard to define beauty but these big mountains are wonderful,” Nína explains. “There is nothing oppressive about them—they don’t make you feel small or unimportant. I have seen some mountains which do that,” she continues.
Oppressive, no. But, dramatic nonetheless; the mountains plunge into the ocean. The region is especially beautiful in the autumn, Nína describes, always referring to the structure and line of the landscape, as only an artist does. “There’s a rich color scale of reds, oranges and splashes of light and dark green. And unlike in the fjords in Norway, for example, there are very few trees so you can see the skeleton of the mountains, their form.”
While the physical surroundings were key to Nína’s choice of Ísafjörður, the local community was also a factor. “The people, how they worked and how they thought, was also important, as was the possibility of leading a healthy lifestyle,” she explains.
You can read the remainder of this article in the April-May issue of Iceland Review – IR 02.13.
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