"Feral Fjords" by Steve Léon Brown
This journey came about after my closest friend Joe Sanders cycled solo through France, Spain & Portugal for 5 months in 2014, at the time I really wanted to go with him, but it wasn’t convenient timing for me. When he finally returned in December 2014 he seemed different, more relaxed, more adventurous, a more open minded individual. I was in awe of how he was feeling and wanted to experience the same sensations. During 2015 we started toying with the Idea of cycling around Iceland together & on May 30th, 2016 we were on our way also joined by our good friend from University Gar O’Rouke. The choice to travel by bicycle was to experience this dramatic Island first hand, to learn about the true nature of this wild place & to camp wild amongst its harsh landscapes, being at times days away from the nearest town. As an artist it only seemed right to document this journey, the relationships we had with each other and the respect we found for the Island. During the month, we cycled from Reykjavik and headed north in a clockwise direction, covering the west coast, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, the West Fjords, the Northern coast, Mývatn, the East Fjords & the Southern coast.
Feral Fjords is a touch on simplicity, journey, freedom, and satisfaction. The series is a documentation of a month journey around Iceland achieved on bicycles. The journey was to focus on being temporarily free from the modern pressures of society that is now increasingly unavoidable. Without such restrictions, we were free to appreciate the notion of time and travel at leisure experiencing Iceland in its rawest form. It’s a journey of friendship, patience, endurance, and living outdoors for 31 days. By traveling in this way we were able to camp wild, fish, replenish water from glacial rivers, bathe in natural hot springs, be in direct contact with Iceland’s irrational climate, enduring cold, wind, rain but also the magic of the endless midnight sun. Being face to face with the brutal force of Iceland was refreshing but testing for the mind and body, away from technology and the control of modern society. Cycling is quite possibly the most gratifying way to experience a landscape, it’s only then possible to understand the trance like euphoria of cycling head on into Arctic winds over gravel mountain passes and plateaus, to be attacked by territorial sea birds, infested by swarms of midges, drown by endless rain, but then cruising down long roads surrounded by fjords on either side with a steady tailwind pushing you all the way! Iceland still remains extremely wild due to its small population, its position on the planet and its volcanic nature. I hope that it will remain that way in the future for others to experience its natural beauty and defying challenges.
View more of Steve's work on his website.