oil on canvas, 60cm x 80cm, Iain White, 2010, £350
These buildings lie on the narrow strip of farmland on decayed lava fields beneath the cliffs of Kalfafellsheida that once formed the edge of the Siduj?kull icecap before it retreated. Stretching nearly 20 kilometres to the south are the distributaries of the meltwater streams draining the icecap that flow across the west end of the black sand and gravel desert of the vast Skeiðaràrsandur. This sandur is liable to both sand storms and devastating flash flooding.
The position of this farm and its buildings once again underlines the many challenges that Icelandic agriculture faces, which do not have parallels in most other countries. Icelandic topography and landscape result in a very low population density and long distances. The range of potential natural hazards is long and in many ways unique and climate is extremely unstable and not particularly suitable for farming.