The Street Art in Reykjavik
When you think of Iceland it's not usually cutting edge street art that first springs to mind. But as these pictures show, Reykjavik has some of the most unique, bold and modern street murals of any Scandinavian city. Often these pieces are huge installations across an entire gable end of buildings in the city centre. This wall art craze has partly sprung from an initiative started by the organisers of the Airwaves music festival, who wanted to team up musicians with artists to create large scale, accessible art during the festival. Now artists from all over the world are travelling to Iceland's capital to leave their mark on Reykjavik’s walls.
While walking through the city you see how fragmented and eclectic the building fabric is - creating numerous exposed gable sides all around the city. These are perfect for this street art trend, but originally were the product of the city's urban planning history. In the 1960s, Reykjavik was planning to centralise its housing in the inner city by building large perimeter blocks. However as the blocks started being built across the city, the emergence of the notion of heritage and the protection or listing of buildings of a certain era brought many of these constructions to a halt. That is why now, parts of perimeter buildings stand next to small wooden structures clad in coloured corrugated iron. It creates a rugged charm and some very interesting and lively public spaces.
Another reason (to add to the list!) to get that trip to Iceland booked!