beach at night photo: Annik St-Arnaud

I am now back home, in very hot Montreal. A harsh contrast, to the weather I have been experiencing in Iceland, for the pas month.  Hopefully, I will find a suitable pool to help with the transition. Sitting on my balcony, it’s 6am and I am reflecting on the past month. I’m realizing how much music has been a part of my journey. I haven’t read any of the books I brought, but I listened to music everyday; matching moods, matching feelings.

I created a short mixtape that illustrates my time in Iceland; linking them to some of my experiences.

Arriving in Iceland, the plane coming through the clouds and preparing for landing. Realizing it is raining and seeing for the first time, the beautiful colours of the landscape.

The first song to play on my Spotify, when settling for my first night at the residence. I was feeling very much out of place. I sang this song during walks and the pool. I was my first inspiration to work with oranges for my project.

The ocean, the waves, the birds …

A sliver of moon on what felt like one long day.

Walking, walking, walking, all kinds of walks. Around the city, the pier, the beach, around and over the hills.

Being an artist, creating, doubting …

And that concludes my journey, in Iceland!

Naps every day !

Solstice clouds
photo: Annik St-Arnaud, 2018.

Life in Blönduós is slow. It is such a different rythm to what I am used to; it is both marvellous and destabilizing. I have this urge to feel stressed, to be productive. But really, life is so simple here. My daily routine consist mostly of eating, sleeping, walking and going to the pool. There is a lack of stimulation; or rather a lack of over stimulation.


Here I reconnect with naps, with taking my time and breathing in this beautiful place. Bizarrely, I have not been very productive; I haven’t felt the need to create. My head is buzzing with ideas, with projects and how this residency could influence my work in the future. But, I don’t feel the need to make them all come true this instant; with haste before I leave. Like I said, life in Blönduós is slow and we always have time.

Solstice clouds photo: Annik St-Arnaud, 2018.
Solstice clouds photo: Annik St-Arnaud, 2018.








I want to bring this slowness back to Montreal and not be swept by a torrent of people and events and the pressure to produce and excel. I wonder if this slowness is a by product of endless days and a short fleeting night? Can this unhurriedness only exist in Iceland ? Time will tell …

For now, lets savour this time, where even when our exhibition and departure dates rapidly approaches, there is always time for a nap.

Or a swim!




A walk through Blönduós

Blönduós is a small city in the northwest of Iceland. The name Blönduós translate  to “the mouth of the river Blanda” and aptly describe how the city encircled the meeting point between ocean and land.

Iceland as been known to be an architectural melting pot and Blönduós perfectly embodies this idea. I found this city to have interesting and varied architecture; very colourful and full of textures. I have found myself enjoying my walks through the city as much as those through the beautiful Icelandic landscapes.

A house by the sea © Annik St-Arnaud
A house by the sea (detail) © Annik St-Arnaud
A house by the sea (detail) © Annik St-Arnaud

Frugality and practicality has defined Icelandic architecture since the time of settlememt; both informed by what is available to them and also what will withstand the Icelandic temperamental weather. There is a mix of old and new; we can see the signs of time and repairs, as a chronological journal of the city.

© Annik St-Arnaud
© Annik St-Arnaud
© Annik St-Arnaud


© Annik St-Arnaud
© Annik St-Arnaud


The architecture has very clear and colourful influences of Scandinavian design. Personally, some of theses buildings remind me of the Quebec architecture from the 60’s and early 70’s, either because of their design or colors.

Community center © Annik St-Arnaud
© Annik St-Arnaud

I’ll keep walking and exploring … and writing and sharing this small town with you all !