It’s only been two weeks, but after the short but fun design trip to Reykjavik for Design March, I was feeling slightly nostalgic today for the eclectic northern-most capital city. You may have seen the say hi to_ Design Guide to Iceland, a comprehensive look into the creative landscape and mentality behind Icelandic design, which was published earlier in the week.
Anytime we may visit a new city we will discover their special eccentricities and unique charms but Iceland is exceptionally special… Without wanting to sound cliché, it is actually somewhere you have to seen in the flesh to be able to truly appreciate. In Reykjavik, there is a certain spontaneity and creative energy which lingers between the quirky, colourful architecture of the capital city and the expansive lunar landscape surrounding it.
For the past few years I have been following the Instagram account of the Swedish Queen of Color (no that is not an oxymoron, there must be one, no??), interior and architecture photographer, Tekla Severin. One thing that I love about her work, is that it is so undeniably her. I see her photograph buildings or cities which I know well, but her images capture a side to these places which I never saw through my own eyes. Playful images of course, full of rich, saturated and surprising color palettes.
I met Tekla in Reykjavik, over a glass of champagne, where we hung out in an Olafur Eliasson art installation made up of light talking about design and the enigma behind confusing species of, the Swedish man. I was so eager to see such an intriguing and curious city, through her lens. I fell in love immediately once she sent me her photos (do you not just feel like you want to move into that turquoise blue 70’s luxe interior, RIGHT NOW?) and I called her to see what her lingering impression of Iceland was. Generally, the main subjects in Tekla’s work are buildings, interiors and architectural details – which means that it is a bit difficult to get too creative. For that reason, I was interested to ask her about her creative process and planning which goes into these incredible images. She always does a bit of research before deciding where she may want to take a creative work trip; keeping in mind special areas which may speak to her visual language. With a few visits to Iceland under her belt, she had an idea of standout buildings and was very inspired by Iceland, which is a bit of the black sheep of Scandinavia – in aesthetics and it’s charming unpredictability. “I love that a lot of the architecture is ‘ugly-cute’, the Icelandic mix unexpected colours and wooden details and I find that super inspiring” Tekla tells me as we chat about what she found while in Reykjavik. Developing her iconic style, feeling uninspired by the minimalistic white and beige abyss of Swedish interiors, it was only natural that she would find inspiration in Iceland’s eclectic and colourful structures. Have a look below at Reykjavik through Tekla’s lens.