Calling Iceland from Australia

Eye of the Corvus, raven by photographer Tom Swinnen
Image by Tom Swinnen @shottrotter

As an artist, you tend to have projects on the go all the time, but some years are bigger than others and 2019 will be that for me.

While the intention is to set up a blog specifically for the project, this is a preliminary post to introduce you to my next big thing – Eye of the Corvus: Messengers of Truth – a research and installation project that has been bubbling away in the background for at least the past year. It actually came about on the back of my 2016 Artlands Festival work, Volucres.

Overview of Eye of the Corvus: Messengers of Truth

Spanning two countries at opposite ends of the world – Australia and Iceland are both considered remote with variable, environmental extremes; both with distinct ‘indigenous’ cultures and exposure to contemporary pop culture that continues to reference the symbolism of corvids as messengers or omens. Both countries have corvid species (ravens) impacted by human interventions in different ways – one thriving, the other vulnerable, I’ll be studying corvids in their natural environments in both countries, attempting to reveal our world through their eyes, and the truth of what might lie before us. My research and production work is being conducted in both countries over an eight-month period in 2019, culminating in an exhibition at the Western Plains Cultural Centre in December 2019 – February 2020.

Associated post: Brick walls and frozen thoughts

I need help with the Icelandic chapter of this project…

Research-led production

The project involves recording video and sound for the intended installation using a range of cameras from the ground and air – all working to capture the rural, peri-urban and urban landscapes as if from the eye of the raven or crow – as much as that is possible. It’s a challenging project and there are specific requirements of the shoot all underpinned by my research through extensive reading and communication with university-based bird ecologists, in Australia and the UK. Then there’s the sound – that’s where the artistic licence kicks in – but that’s for another post.

Kim V Goldsmith digital media artistI’ll be working across Central West and Western NSW on the Australian leg, starting first thing in the New Year with test shoots to work out what camera technology is going to produce the best results within the parameters of the project – all need to be shot in cinematic 4K with wide-angle lenses. My two months in Iceland in September and October 2019 will be spent at the Nes Artist Residency at Skagaströnd in the north of the country. It’s a relatively isolated location and my ability to get around will be limited to being on foot, bludging rides, or a hire car as needed. I have two months there to replicate what I’ll have had six months to do in Australia and a budget that is never going to seem big enough. The timeframe will get tighter by the time I leave Iceland, as I have about 6 weeks on my return to do the post-production and installation before opening.

Help needed

I need help with the following elements of the Icelandic chapter:

  • Contacts in bird research or anyone at the Icelandic Institute of Natural History (working with birds);
  • Contracting a drone operator for a couple of days paid work;
  • A guide to show me where some of the best places around Skagaströnd might be to record video and sound;
  • Someone to share some Icelandic sagas with me.

I’m always willing to return a favour – happy to shout a drink or meal or offer assistance where possible.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: