Volume 7, Issue 2, Fall 2015
Representing Glaciers in Icelandic Art
A Spatial Shift
Glaciers in Iceland are disappearing, and this article investigates how such glacier change might be transmitted into Icelandic culture, specifically, in art oriented around Icelandic glaciers. Utilizing cultural climatology as an approach, this article analyzes changes in spatial properties of glaciers as represented in older and newer artworks. Three central spatial characteristics of glaciers emerge and provide insights into how glacier loss can be represented and understood: 1) the compression of traditional distance; 2) the use of multiple perspectives; and 3) the structural representation of the glacier body. Analysis suggests a re-positioning of glaciers in the cultural imaginary and the fluctuating nature of how individuals and societies understand themselves and their place within the glaciated landscapes.