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'Iceland Stories' by Pat Hodson, Liz Cashdan and Jessica Rowland
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Close encounter

Reykholt, Geysir, Gullfos, Arnastap, Bru,

Stykkishōlnur, Spákonufell, Smirlabjargarvirlgun

In 2009, OCA tutors Liz Cashdan (creative writing) and Pat Hodson (textiles) spent the month of August on a NES residency in Skagaströnd, Iceland.  Now, a new book of poems and images, ‘Iceland Stories’, which includes a sequence by sound artist Jessica Rowland, is to be published, inspired by the landscape, myth and history of Iceland.  The three artists’ blog, digital notebook, collaborative documentation and photographs from a collaborative exhibition at Access Space in Sheffield are published on Art in the Freezer.  The three artists followed their own individual creative paths and also worked collaboratively.  Combining the images, poems and sound sequence from the residency has taken three years.
Pat Hodson’s images draw on different recordings and imaging techniques to explore the patterns which underlie landscape.  She is interested in the apparent chaos of organic life and the structures, symbols and myths with which human beings impose order on the environment.
Liz Cashdan’s poetry explores place and landscape and the lives of people who have lived and worked in that landscape over the years, often giving a voice to people whose actual voices have been lost or are seldom heard.
Jessica Rowland mixes sound from different sources in her work, using her technical knowledge gained through working in theatre to find equivalents to the sounds she hears in the environment.  In Iceland, she created sound sequences for which she recorded natural sounds, the voices of the people in the community and readings from Liz Cashdan’s poems.

The Names of the Sea

Flotsam-basher, jetsam-catcher,


 Moon-flatterer, sunshine splatterer,


‘Images and words benefit form a close encounter,’ says writer and artist Susan Shaw of ‘Iceland Stories’. With 55 full colour pages, the book offers a powerful experience of shared memory in which image, word and sound play off each other to create a sensory experience.
‘Iceland Stories’ is to be launched at the Embassy of Iceland on 29 November by invitation only.  Liz Cashdan will read from her poems and Pat Hodson will give a slide talk about the different ways she integrated word with image on the page. Please email Liz Cashdan lizcashdan@gmail.com with your name, postal and email address if you would like to attend, or to purchase a copy of the book at the special price of £25. 

Posted by author: Elizabeth Underwood
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2 thoughts on “Close encounter

  • This looks a wonderful project. I’ve had a first look at the blog which I think provides an excellent model for recording collaborative work. I do hope there are some spaces left for the launch (have emailed you Liz). I was also very interested in Access Space. I guess there are projects similar to this in the London area so if anyone knows of one south of the river please let me know.
    Just to mention as well that the link here to the blog doesn’t work. It can be found at
    I’ll be going back to explore more so will return with more comments.

  • This is an interesting collaboration. I have been to Iceland and found it a truly inspiring place- so strange and stark.

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