Vantar | Missing
Bird Editions, Oxford: 2014
Digitally printed on Munken Polar at the Lavenham Press in Suffolk,
hand-sewn binding with hand-incised design
Edition limited to 300 numbered copies, of which the first 75 are signed and numbered
ISBN 978 0 9928091 0 2
The Icelandic word vantar refers both to a lost object or person and to the experience of loss. In Vantar | Missing a series of diptychs records mountain snow cover in Siglufjörður, a ghost town at the northernmost tip of the island. Avalanches caused 198 deaths in Iceland during the twentieth century, but it was not until 1999 that avalanche defences were built around Siglufjörður. Stóri-boli (Big bull) and Litli-boli (Little bull) wind through the mountains, a barely perceptible human intervention dividing the town’s remaining inhabitants from the wilderness.
The landscapes in Vantar | Missing have become familiar to viewers of the TV drama Trapped (Ófærð), also shot in Siglufjörður. My account of sharing this small Icelandic town with Baltasar Kormákur’s film crew was published in the Times Literary Supplement.
Vantar | Missing accompanies a print series begun during a residency at Herhúsið, Siglufjörður in 2012. The complete series was acquired by Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford in 2014, where it hangs in the entrance to the college.
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Photograph © Peter Abrahams