Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Sun Voyager , Reykjavik

Sun Voyager (Icelandic: Sólfar) is sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason (1931 - 1989). Sun Voyager is a dreamboat, an ode to the sun. Intrinsically, it contains within itself the promise of undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress and freedom. The sculpture is located by Sæbraut, by the sea in the centre of Reykjavík, Iceland.

As you know, there have been speculations that the Icelanders as a race originated in Mongolia. The history of their migration to Iceland runs as follows: Many centuries ago, Alexander the Great, was living in the centre of the known world. He dispatched his bravest and most experienced warriors, along with some women, scribes and other followers, on an exploratory expedition to the cardinal directions, the north, west, south, and east, in order to discover and conquer new, unknown territories. Those who headed east followed the rising sun until they reached the steppes of Mongolia. There they settled down and lived in comfort. Those scribes who accompanied the warriors were expected to document the expedition for the king. Several centuries later, when the documents written by the scribes eventually came to be examined, the people discovered that they had another fatherland in the west. They therefore decided to gather together their belongings and head back west towards the setting sun. We followed the sun for days and years, walking, riding and sailing. They enriched our experience and their determination grew in strength as their journey progressed, and recorded everything that they saw and experienced. There were endless pine forests, mountains and waterfalls, lakes, islands, rivers and seas before they eventually reached the ocean. They then constructed huge ships and sailed on westwards towards the setting sun.As a result of this vivid experience of the participation in this expedition while on the island of Bockholm in the Finnish archipelago, this picture of a sun ship was carved into a granite rock by the sea. The sun ship symbolizes the promise of new, undiscovered territory. It is also being exhibited here at the Nordic House, made of aluminium.

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