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SEEDS 036 ISLANDIA Selárdalur on the west side of Arnarfjörður, ENVI / ARTS / NATU 06/08/2023 13/08/2023

SEEDS 036. Selárdalur in the Westfjords - Samúel Jónsson
06.08 - 13.08
6 Volunteers
Age: 18+
WORK/PROJECT: SEEDS Volunteers will be working for the eighth year helping and supporting the restoration
of the artworks of Samúel Jónsson, an Icelandic folk artist, who lived in Selárdalur. During his years of artistic
production he produced unique concrete statues using sand from a local beach. Sadly, Jónsson passed away
in 1969, leaving his creations without a caretaker. The land and the statues looked like they were simply going to
be abandoned to nature in the out-of-the-way valley. However independent and government organisations
have worked together with the support of SEEDS volunteers to preserve the site, which still remains for any
visitors who would like to see the world through one Icelandic farmer’s eyes.
This year, SEEDS volunteers will be mostly working on different walking paths and trails in the area, in
Brautarholt/Samúel Jónsson Museum and Uppsalir/the house of Gísli O. Gíslason, a museum in preparation.
The association for the renovation of Samúel Jónsson's art museum in Selárdalur has been working on the
restoration of Samúel's statues and buildings for some years. SEEDS volunteers will be working hand in hand
with a well known sculpture artist; who has dedicated several years to this project.
ACCOMMODATION: The volunteers will be hosted in a local house, in sleeping bag accommodation with
mattresses on the floor. Please bring your own sleeping bag.
Food supplies will be provided and a kitchen will be available, volunteers will share the different duties of cooking
and cleaning. Do not forget to bring some traditional/typical food, drinks, recipes, music, games or movies from
your country for the intercultural evening. Please be aware some items or ingredients may be expensive in
Iceland and you will need to buy them yourselves or bring them from your country.
LOCATION: This camp is located in Selárdalur on the west side of Arnarfjörður, in the Westfjords, which are
among the most breathtakingly beautiful places in Iceland, with its high mountains and dramatic fjords cutting
deep into the landscape. The Lonely Planet put the area on its top 10 list of regions in the world to visit in 2011.
Jónsson constructed at his farm in Selárdalur a folk art environment that consists of a sculpture garden and two
built structures: a chapel and a museum with his paintings and other small works. The story related with the
chapel says that Jónsson had made an altar, he wanted to donate to the local church, an offer that was
rejected however. So to provide a place for the artwork, Jónsson constructed his own chapel!
Samúel Jónsson could first fully devote himself to creative activities after his retirement as a farmer and then he
began building palaces and sculptures. Samúel built a grotesque but charming resemblance to the lion’s
fountain in the Alhambra-palace in Granada, Spain, and sculptures of seals and other animals as figures from
Icelandic history like Leif the lucky who found America.
The distance from Reykjavik to Selárdalur is about 500 km (8-9 hours drive) via the Whale Bay tunnel; it is
perhaps one of Iceland's most remote areas and a very peaceful and beautiful place to enjoy.
LANGUAGE: English will be the official language in the camp; high proficiency is not a requirement.
TERMINAL: Closest international Airport: Keflavík/Reykjavík (KEF). Bus station: Central Reykjavík (BSÍ).
SEEDS offers the minibus option, a shared transportation from the SEEDS office, in Reykjavík, to the camp and
back. Apart from being cheaper and convenient, it allows participants to meet and have a relaxed trip, while
stopping on the way for interesting sites.
Departure from Reykjavík will be at 7:00 am in the morning of August 6 from the SEEDS office. After the camp,
we will arrive back to Reykjavík in the late evening of August 13.
EXTRAS / SPECIAL REMARKS: Participation fee EUR 350 (Euros). Please note that the fee can either be
transferred in advance via bank transfer, or paid for on arrival. The participation fee does not include the
transportation from Reykjavík to the camp and back, which will cost EUR 50 one way or EUR 100 both ways.
It may be very cold and/or rainy, so we recommend bringing warm and waterproof clothes (underlayers,
overcoats, scarves, gloves and hats), good walking shoes, as some of the activities take place outdoors.
Volunteers need to be prepared for physical work, to experience all kinds of weather and bring warm clothes as
the project takes place outside and the weather can be cold. SEEDS and/or our hosting partner will organise
free time activities in the area. This will include sightseeing, hiking, swimming in natural hot pots, etc.