Selárdalur sculptures

  • Selárdalur is very dear to Icelanders. It is one of the Ketildalir valleys on the southern shore of Arnarfjörður and the only one widely known.

 

Selárdalur is very dear to Icelanders. It is one of the Ketildalir valleys on the southern shore of Arnarfjörður and the only one widely known.

Formerly, the community in Selárdalur was thriving. It had positive land quality and easy access to the ocean. The farmers and their families would work their land, and then the men would gather in their boats to go fishing. Everyone prospered. Then on 20th September in the year 1900 everything changed. Four boats were lost at sea. Seventeen men perished, leaving eleven widows, twenty-four fatherless children.

The Valley has never really recovered from this blow. But, somehow life went on, and the Valley produced some remarkable individuals. One of them was the naiveté artist Samúel Jónsson. When he retired from farming at the age of 72 in 1958, Samúel decided to follow his dreams and become an artist. He created sculptures from concrete. He would carry sand from the seashore to his farm at Brautarholt where he would make his own concrete. His sculptures are still standing and well preserved. Samúel managed to capture the heart of the Icelanders who have dubbed him "the artist with the infantile heart." Amongst his sculptures is a grotesque but charming resemblance to the lion's fountain in the Alhambra Palace in Spain.

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Below is the location of Selárdalur on the map of Iceland