Jan Brykczynski Network
Arnes is an isolated region in Western Fiords in Iceland where I spent an autumn month in 2010. This work was a continuation of my previous 3-year project on a little village in Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains. In both cases I was fascinated with rural life, its connection and proximity to the nature. I wanted to examine this intimate and very archetypical relation. I was also interested in portraying a specificity of life in such small isolated community.
There you'll find a small community of farmers who have
chosen to farm sheep only.
The people live off the land, as Icelanders have done for
hundreds of years.
Far from bright lights and big cities, people in the Arnes
region live surrounded by steep mountains and the waves crashing on the shore.
In the Arnes region 38 people live in 15 homes all year round.
In the whole area there are more than 2700 sheep.
Life in Arnes is pretty set, every season has its tasks and chores.
Everything runs on the everlasting circle of life.
In the spring there is lambing season, in summer, tourists and haymaking, autumn brings sheep gathering and slaughtering,
the wool is sheared in November and mating season is around Christmas.
From January till March the roads sometimes close for days or even weeks due to heavy snow.
Life sure slows down in the darkest months.
Together they endure the winter, the people and sheep in Arnes.
And then it is spring again.
The circle of life continues.
—Extract from the text by Kristin Heida Kristinsdottir