Sun Voyager, Reykjavík, Iceland

Sun Voyager, Reykjavík, Iceland

For a few reasons, I found this shoreline sculpture in Reykjavík hard to photograph pleasingly when others have done the same. Having yellow cranes looming in the background certainly intruded so careful composition was needed to exclude these. Maybe life will be easier once they are out of the way when the building works that need them have completed. The position of the sun in the sky was another concern and then there was the fact that the installation is a people magnet, further reducing the chances of photographing it.

Still, I got my chance on an evening after a day spent savouring sights around the Golden Circle. Iceland's latitude makes for long hours of daylight during the summer, and it is easy to stay out of doors when you get weather like that in the photo. In fact, persuading yourself to go inside to retire for the night is the hard part.

The stainless steel sculpture was the brainchild of Jón Gunnar Árnason and was chosen in 1986 to mark the two hundredth anniversary of the founding of Reykjavík. Its installation in 1990 sadly came after its creator's death (from leukaemia in 1989) but its intended meaning has not been lost for he had much to say about it.

It is tempting to think it to be a representation of Viking ship since this is the land of sagas, but that is not the concept. It is imagined as a dreamboat taking us to undiscovered territory with hope, progress and freedom. That certainly was how I approached visiting Iceland, so the since discovered real meaning is apt. The trip was meant as a way of rupturing a rut into which I had fallen, and it did that while also delighting my senses.

See more photos from this album (Iceland)