Iceland Journal – The Raven’s Nest

Last week, while exploring Reykjavik with tourist map in hand, a point of interest called “The Raven’s Nest” piqued my curiosity. The short blurb on the map read,

“I’m like a raven, I collect things,” Icelandic film director Hrafn Gunnlaugsson says of his seaside hidden abode. The house as Laugarnestangi 65 can easily be mistaken for an eclectic museum or an enormous unfinished sculpture. Like so many artists, Gunnlaugsson has a vision for his anomalous haven – a living, breathing display of history, his travels, family, nature, and above all, recyclable materials. It’s simply not enough to observe, only active participants are allowed in this bizarre existence that Gunnlaugsson calls home.

Impossible to resist this description, we found ourselves bumping down a dirt driveway at the outskirts of town. We were greeted by massive sculptures fashioned from discarded metals, stone and paint. Beyond lay Gunnlaugsson’s low-lying recycled home on the water’s edge – a fascinating and colorful hodge-podge of rusty ship parts, satellite dishes, driftwood, concrete and glass.

We approached the house, and were disappointed to discover that no one was home. As we poked around the periphery of the homestead I hoped that the eccentric homeowner, who certainly must have a sense of humor, would pop out and invite us in for a cup of coffee. So many questions to ask the creator of such an abode!

© Poppy Gall 2011

An all-seeing eye at the end of the driveway made us suspect we’d found the right place

© Poppy Gall 2011

A Viking warrior greets us at the edge of the property

© Poppy Gall 2011

Unfortunately no one was home when we stopped by…

© Poppy Gall 2011

The house is set right on the rocky shoreline – minutes from downtown Reykjavik

© Poppy Gall 2011

I loved all the rusty sculpture. To see more of my infatuation with rust click here and here

© Poppy Gall 2011

A raven, fashioned from what appears to be an old TV antennae

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2 comments on “Iceland Journal – The Raven’s Nest

  1. Steven Caskey’s avatarSteven Caskey on said:

    Changed a lot since 2011. Works still there, but coverd with vegitation. No one around. Is Gunnlaugsson still living?

  2. sakurasnow’s avatarsakurasnow on said:

    Wow, what a strange and wonderful place… a pity you weren’t able to meet the artist!
    I loved your previous post too – the juxtaposition of snow-streaked mountain photos and Icelandic sweater designs was ingenious.
    Looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful photos from your Icelandic adventure!

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