“The Icelandic nature rewards me with a sense of freedom and liberation"
Kyana Sue Powers
LAND OF FIRE & ICE
Are you keen to share your story? contact us
Photo : Lisa Franco
Anton Young Lovísa Tómasdóttir Erna Marín Kvist Lindsey Lee Tobia Zambotti Jewells Chambers Kyana Sue Powers Daniella Brown
Contributing Writer Michelle Spinei
Photo by Helinda Loh
Editors Note Hello Erlendur Readers, welcome to another issue of Erlendur Magazine. We are oﬃcially one year old! e Magazine was created in 2020 as a social initiative; a free digital publication funded by me and my daughter, Bianca. We wanted to create a platform to showcase foreigners in Iceland and share their stories as well as promote cultural diversity and cultural inclusion. e vision that started small has mushroomed and continues to mushroom, as the possibilities are endless. We have decided to take this concept globally by including and showcasing imigrants (ex-pats) residing in other countries thereby creating a digital platform connecting and showcasing cultural diversity across the globe.
I am so grateful to all who have supported the magazine and its vision to promote cultural diversity and cultural inclusion in Iceland. I would like to say special thanks to the 1st Lady of Iceland Eliza Reid who took time out from her busy schedule to attend the launch event last year. Also, I would like to acknowledge Patience A. Karlsson and Logi Pedro Stefánsson who graced the cover of our early issues. To all who have supported and encouraged us to continue this journey, I am grateful. Special thanks to my friend Paula Gould who support this initiative from the start. Much love and thanks to the Erlendur team, Dori Levitt Baldvinsson, my daughter Bianca Hallveig Sigurdardottir and the amazing Photographer GundryBeck you guys’ rock!
CARLOTTA TATE- OLASON EDITOR/FOUNDER
We have just begun. I hope others will join us as we go on our new journey in the upcoming issues this year, "Promoting cultural diversity, cultural inclusion, and gender equality across the globe”. In this issue, Jewells Chambers from All ings Iceland tells her story. Our cover girl the adventurous Kyana Sue who is so in love with Iceland talks about her adventures. We also showcase a few photos from Icelander readers who have been to see the amazing newest phenomenon in Iceland, the Volcano eruption. Sending love and peace to you this season from myself and the team. ank you all for continuing to support Erlendur Magazine.
We look forward to you continuing to read and share it. Follow us on Instagram @erlendurmagazine. Ps. I am open to ideas so do feel to connect with me. Love you all Carlotta
MEET THE Team
BIANCA HALLVEIG SIGURDARDOTTIR CO-FOUNDER
CAT GUNDRY-BECK DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
DORI LEVITT BALDVINSSON CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
Photo by Renata
Erna Marín Kvist
IN THIS ISSUE Pg: 23
Kyana Sue Powers
Erna Marín Kvist
I return to Iceland and pursuing my passion for Art
Sometimes, you meet someone and immediately, you just click. e conversations ow the energy is invigorating, and you begin to communicate as if you've known each other for years. Well, this is what happened to Erna and me. I knew something was diﬀerent about her warm voice and her funny, cool personality made it easy for anyone to feel comfortable around her.
Erna Marín Kvist is an artist who returned to Iceland after spending years living in Denmark, so she can relate to the issues that foreigners face when relocating. She has experienced both sides born in Iceland, relocated to Denmark years ago, then she returned to Iceland. Erna had to start all over again and had to try her best to t into the Icelandic society after being away for so long. As you can imagine, it hasn't been an easy road for Erna, but she draws strength from doing art which has been her lifelong passion. Her versatile artwork is beautifully expressed through various forms. She is talented and dedicated with a creative passion to succeed which also came through in her work experience as a orist, interior and textile designer, tattoo artist and illustrator.
Add sub heading How interesting, I can tell Erna has what I would call great resilience with the ability to pivot into what she loves doing. Feel free to contact her via social media.
So what are you currently working on and what's the inspiration behind it? I asked as we chatted together and she laughed. “Well, I paint with intuition, a feeling of energy in that moment." However, sometimes it comes organically. Also times I leave it and come back to it later. It’s exhausting, fulfilling and exciting and my focus is to portray my intuition, colours, texture and structure to a certain “Feng Shui state of vision” and these latest pieces which I’ve been working on for almost a year will be my exhibition "The Chi".
by Erna Marín Kvist
Tobia Zambotti @tobia_zambotti By Michelle Spinei
Interior Designer Originally from Italy, Tobia moved to Iceland two years ago. He is the founder and Design Director of Atelier Tobia Zambotti. He showcases his vision for architecture, interior design and product design in Reykjavik. Since moving to Iceland he has designed the corporate headquarters of Íslenskt Grænmeti. He was also featured at the Design March festival for his “Fan Chair” project. In addition, he created a glacier-inspired ice cream parlour at Perlan Museum, among other projects.
Couch-19 is a sofa filled with used masks
"The Fan Chair" By Michelle Spinei
I came across your work, the Fan Chair, at Design March. Can you explain how you started that project?
I was running by the ocean in Skeljanes and I saw these old discarded plastic seats from the stadium in an outdoor dump and I said, “Oh my God, I need to do something cool with them”. I like to give a new life to things that are not considered a resource anymore. In this case, I think it is interesting to reuse the old stadium seats because there are millions of these kinds of products all over the world, and in the future, they have to be reused or recycled somehow. The main problem is that only 50% of plastics can be recycled and usually these specific plastics made in the 80s, cannot be recycled because they are a mix of two ingredients. I created these metal legs with pop bright colors in order to bring to an interior design setting the atmosphere and adrenaline of the stadiums of the 80s. I recently designed a modular pouf made with single-use masks collected from the streets. Now, I am developing a chair collection that gives new life to lifebuoys from the Reykjavik harbour which will be in this year’s Design March. I like to give a new value to objects that are considered trash.
Glacier-inspired ice cream parlor What was it like moving from Shanghai to Reykjavik?
I worked in Shanghai with Alberto Caiola and living in that chaotic city, I discovered that that kind of lifestyle is not sustainable at all. at was one of the few reasons I decided to leave Shanghai to come to Reykjavik, to have a more sustainable and more nature-connected lifestyle. I am an interior designer, but I like to do more creative projects like these kinds of chairs and art installations, but I was used to living in Shanghai where it is so easy to get all the materials you can dream of. You can have everything you want and it’s so easy. In Iceland, everything has to be imported and the costs are high so it's so diﬃcult. If you want to be active in the creative eld, you need to optimize a lot, all the expenses and all the processes. is is why most of my experimental projects are made with aﬀordable materials that are already in the country.
What has been your experience designing in Reykjavik?
I immediately got the chance to design the oﬃces of Íslenskt Grænmeti, so I started in the right way and this helped me a lot to get linked with the Icelandic network. During Design March I had the chance to meet everyone in the design community and I was impressed by how many people work in this eld for such a small country— it’s unbelievable.
Are Icelandic clients more willing to take risks?
Yes, this is what I’ve felt in my short experience. For instance, I designed the ice cream parlor in Perlan and the managers were extremely ambitious. ey told me “We want to make one of the most beautiful ice cream parlour in the world”. I personally like these kinds of challenges and wanted to make this kind of immersive experience using aﬀordable materials that also have a function because in this case, the kinds of pyramids that come down from the ceiling, absorb all of the noise from the ice cream machines. So it is an abstract ice cave, but at the same time, it has a practical function.
Has Iceland inﬂuenced your design aesthetic?
For sure, it is a unique country and I have never seen such beautiful landscapes. You see color contrasts that you don’t usually see in other places. In my case, I like to work in Iceland. I have some projects abroad, but I like to be based in Reykjavik because it is such a quiet environment and it helps so much to grow creativity. It was hard for me to be focused and relaxed in Shanghai. In order to do great design, you have to be happy because design is joy. You need to have enthusiasm. You have to be curious. You need to observe the world with criticism.
All Things Iceland
With Jewells Chambers
By Michelle Spinei
Meet Jewells Chambers—the host and creator of All Things Iceland—an award-winning podcast and YouTube channel. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Jewells shares her passion for Iceland weekly with topics ranging from Icelandic history to travel advice, language, and interviews.
What was the initial inspiration behind your podcast All Things Iceland and later the Youtube channel?
It’s so funny because I was bored, and I say that in the best way because I feel like you need to sometimes be bored in order to spark something within you. I was listening to a lot of self-help podcasts, where people were saying—if you want something and you don’t see it, create it. This was the winter of 2017 and I was working full-time and was looking for podcasts to learn more about Iceland and I wasn’t finding what I wanted: learning Icelandic words, learning about what to pack, or hearing about different people’s experiences. So I thought, okay I’ll make one. Winter is such a hard time for so many people, and part of what has helped me in the wintertime is having projects to work on that are interesting and having something I’m passionate about. Starting a podcast was nerve-wracking in the beginning because I was DIY’ing it in my closet and trying to figure out how to make it sound good. I stayed motivated because I set a deadline for myself of June 2018 to launch the podcast and spent the winter developing it.
In your YouTube channel, you focus on different aspects of Iceland- language, culture, and interviews. How has that evolved and were those topics something that you knew from the start that you wanted to feature?
I pretty much took what I was doing on the podcast and transitioned that over to YouTube. In the beginning of the videos I always say, All ing Iceland is ‘the go-to place to learn about Icelandic nature, culture, history and language’ because I really mean that. I want to hit on everything. It’s All ings Iceland because I really feel like you can’t just focus on Viking history or nature or what you have heard about Iceland. at’s kind of what my whole thing is breaking down these preconceived ideas about Iceland. Being an expat, I feel like I have my own spin on it, and also as a black woman, there are all these layers of experience that I wanted to bring, and then of course bring in other people’s experiences as well.
As I’ve lived here longer, I see the diﬀerent parts of society that I was not aware of, or maybe I didn’t want to know about in the beginning because I was in a very happy bubble for a long time. Once I allowed myself to step out of that, it helped me because I’m concerned about the things that are happening here too. I want for society to progress. I want everyone to feel included. I don’t just care about my singular experience because I feel like being part of a society is wanting the whole society to succeed. We all bene t when we are all included and can add value. I want to elevate other voices too since I have created a platform where people are interested in hearing about these things. All ings Iceland is all-encompassing because we need to bring in all the diﬀerent parts that makeup Iceland.
You did a video all in Icelandic, what was the process of making that video?
at was actually very intense to make! Most people think that I made that video oﬀ-the-cuﬀ, but I worked really hard. I have a private Icelandic tutor, and I wrote the text out in English and then I translated it into Icelandic as best I could. en my teacher went over it and corrected the grammar and recorded himself reading it out. I listened to the recording and practiced on camera. It took me 2 hours to lm that video because I wanted to make sure I was pronouncing things correctly and I had to go over and over it. It took me many hours to edit the video. I think the video is 15 minutes, it’s not very long, in comparison to the amount of hours that went into it. I’m learning Icelandic still, it’s a work in progress for me, and I’m not trying to make anyone think that I am fully uent, but that video was a huge undertaking and so out of my comfort zone. I needed to prove to myself that I could do it and it has made me so much more motivated to learn Icelandic better.
What is your plan for All Things Iceland in the future?
I have a few projects in development at the moment, but I especially want to help people who are coming to Iceland for the rst time. I want to give people information in a structured way so that before people come to Iceland they have what they need, while incorporating all the cultural parts into it. What I’m doing on YouTube and the podcast will all be brought together in a package and in a way that people haven’t experienced before and I’m really excited about that.
You usually end your interviews by asking your guests what their favorite Icelandic word or phrase is, so now it’s your turn!
I’ve thought about this, and ðrildi is one. It means butter y and is so hard to say, and it’s so good because it’s like transformation. I’ve changed a lot from being here, so that word really ts for so many people. e other word is frábært because it took me so long to say it and I thought am I ever going to be able to say this word? en one day it just rolled out, and I thought, I got it! It’s my new favorite word. I have a tendency to think— I can do that and I’m not going to stand for ‘it’s not possible for me’, maybe that’s why I do all this other stuﬀ where I’m continuously pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
"I’m certain whatever lies ahead will be a great adventure"
By Lindsey Lee
Seeking a change of pace and adventure, I moved to Iceland in 2016. I was working in a fastpaced, high-pressure job in ophthalmology in the US, burntout and maxed out, I wanted a diﬀerent kind of challenge.
I got my foot in the door at a private ophthalmology clinic in Reykjavik. I had the skillset, which gave me the luxury of being able to spend the majority of my time focusing on the language. Working with patients who could, but would rather not speak English in a healthcare setting forced me to widen my boundaries and step out of my comfort zone. I made countless (hilarious) mistakes with the language, but gradually with the endless patience of my colleagues and a constant game of charades with patients, I learned a functional command of the language and workplace culture.
Photo by Cat Gundry-Beck
I met my partner shortly after moving to Reykjavík and after a few ice cream trips and hikes, we went on a trip to his family’s summerhouse. An hour-long domestic ight, followed by an hour-long car ride over a mountain pass in the dark, we ended in a small village where the elf queen of Iceland calls home. After seeing the place in the light of day I told him that he would be “an idiot” if he didn’t build a house here. I found it to be the most beautiful place in Iceland, and as our adventure evolved we were pulled closer and closer to the town.
My husband wrote his thesis on building sustainable mountain biking trails here in Borgar örður eystri, so we built a business, Fjord Bikes, around the idea. e village is tiny, with just over 100 people living here year round, so every one of us counts. I’m not the only foreigner here, and many others paved the way for us. I often hear it's diﬃcult for us “outsiders” to nd a way into society, and while I recognize my privilege of looking the part and speaking some Icelandic, I would argue that the people around you make all the diﬀerence.
@ ordbikes While BFE ts the acronym, it’s a very charming place and in my opinion, well worth the detour to get here. From crueltyfree down and a moonshine distillery to chocolate making and a porcelain studio, individual interests aren’t only recognized but encouraged. I’m becoming more resourceful, and seeking out personal interests and hobbies, living on what feels like the edge of the world, will force you to do that. Being here has aﬀorded me the opportunity to reinvent my future. Before I left Reykjavík and went on maternity leave, I came up with plans for a remote ophthalmology clinic to serve the rural communities of the east. It’s comfortable to do what you know best. I hope it takes oﬀ, but then again, it’s the road less travelled that brought me here in the rst place, and I’m certain whatever lies ahead will be a great adventure.
I have a deep passion for Iceland
Kyana Sue Powers
LIFE IN ICELAND
Kyana Sue Powers
“THE ICELANDIC NATURE REWARDS ME WITH A SENSE OF FREEDOM AND LIBERATION”.
After visiting Iceland one time in 2018, it wasn’t a matter of how I would move to Iceland, it was a matter of when. In the summer of 2019, I quit my job, sold everything I owned and bought a one-way ticket back to Iceland. I had no job lined up, no apartment, no plan. Just me, a backpack, and two suitcases.
Kyana Sue Powers
MOVING TO ICELAND ALONE EMPOWERED ME. I FELT FREE, BRAVE, AND CONFIDENT.
Back in Boston, I grew scared that I wasn’t living the life I wanted. I wasn’t prepared to live the best years of my life sitting in an oﬃce, I wanted to make the most of my life. I believed I could overcome any fear, but never the feeling of being somewhere I didn’t belong. Personally, I tend to fear the things I can physically see rather than arbitrary feelings. I am terri ed of spiders and jumping oﬀ cliﬀs but the fear of failure or loneliness is not one I dwell on. Despite my passion for Iceland, there has been a lot of uncertainty moving to Iceland as a US Citizen. A year and a half after coming back to Iceland, I still scramble to nd ways to stay a legal resident in this country. A work permit is rare for a non-EU Citizen and the process has been defeating. I consider moving here to be the hardest thing I have ever done and still a work in progress. Bravery is what has allowed me to keep going in these diﬃcult times. It’s scary moving to a new country when you don’t know the language, the people, or the culture. It’s the self-talk and inner passion that drives me every day to try harder. I can’t give up on my dreams, I would only be doing a disservice to myself. While I don’t have all the answers yet, I know that having a pure passion is the driving force to keep the wheels turning.
while in ICELAND I FOUND MY LOVE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY
e Icelandic nature rewards me with a sense of freedom and liberation. My never-ending love for this country keeps me going and road trips around the country reminded me that I can’t give up. While travelling around Iceland, I found my love for photography. I want to be able to share this beautiful country with as many people as possible and inspire them to see it for themselves. I realize moving to Iceland isn’t for everyone and I hope my story can encourage others to chase what they love and nd passion in their lives.
Kyana Sue Powers
Geldingadalsgos Eruption Is A Global Phenomenon
Photo by @jonhilmarssonphotography
Iceland Is Indeed A Land Of Fire and Ice Bianca Hallveig Sigurdardottir
e volcano Geldingadalsgos is in Fagradas all and has become a phenomenon individual across the Island journey for miles to see the volcano rst-hand it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for anyone to be able to up close to an active volcano. While I am yet to visit the volcano, I am waiting for the weather to clear up since it’s around 5 hours hike to the site….I can’t wait. e scientist that studies the eruption say that the volcano will continue for years so you like me there is still time to go. Iceland is indeed an Island of re and Ice. As a native of nature is what I love most about my country and I am sure you do too.
Business Magazine Issue 3, September
Photo by Carolin Giese
"Tinni & The Volcano" L’EXPANSION GAZETTE Icelandic sheepdog Tinni at the eruption 2 days after it has started. 31
Geldingadalur woke on March 19th 2021 after being d o r m a n t f o r ov e r 6 ,0 0 0 y e a r s . M a n y j o u r n e y s d a i ly t o t h e si t e t o se e t he sp e c tac u l a r Vol c a no
Photo by Magnús Róbertsson 32
Princess Vivy Bryndis & Patience A. Karlsson
Veronica (Lark) Martin
Börkur Óðinn Bjarnason and Guna Mežule 36
Sandrayati Fay & Ólafur Arnalds
Let's Talk Fashion With Bianca Hallveig Fashion writer / Stylist @biancahallveig
zeal and passion for fashion Reykjavik is such a small town you can meet anyone here I met Lovisa last summer while strolling downtown on Laugavegur. She was busy sewing away in a little shop on Laugavegur. I was intrigued by the brightly coloured clothes hanging in the window and I had to go in and check it out. I wanted to know more about the designs and to my surprise, the designer of the beautiful pieces was Lovísa Tómasdóttir. We began talking about fashion and design. I love her zeal and passion for fashion. Lovísa Tómasdóttir has a Masters in tailoring and makes clothes for many diﬀerent people but mostly for stage performers. Lovisa is into slow fashion which I love; for those who do not know what slow fashion it is a way to make clothes more sustainable. It involves buying garments that will last longer and has fair values treatment of people, animals, and the planet. Lovísa was a tailor and store manager at the Dresses and Confederate store for 5 years. ere, she found her interest in sewing for stage artists when it comes to her designing. She designs and sew everything herself which is done in limited release. Sometime it's just one copy, a majority of what she does is costume made she is known for turning your dream garment into reality.
How would you describe your style?
I usually say that I don´t get stuck in one particular style. I love being able to dress as a messy hippie one day and a dark goth the other.
What inspires your designs?
Interesting people give me huge inspiration. It excites me when people dare to dress up differently and use clothes to express themselves. When I get a customer I try to see their vision, what they want to represent as a performer. I do research and try to get into their world.
Do you think slow fashion should be the new way of fashion? Absolutely. I was always aware of eco-fashion. I started buying second-hand clothing quite young and would do alterations on them. That way my clothes were unique and eco friendly. I learned the concept of “Slow fashion” when I worked at Ella and was absolutely fascinated. There is a very dark side to fast fashion that we should all be aware of and I think slow fashion is definitely the way to go. 45
What project are you currently working on? I'm currently making new costumes for Daði and Gagnamagnið. ey are competing in the Eurovision Song Contest and I am working on the clothes they will be in on the big stage. I'm extremely excited to be going with them on this adventure to Rotterdam.
So, you have a lot of clothes but nothing to wear, because of clutter ?
ere are many bene ts that come from organizing and decluttering. Research has shown that when you have a clean room you feel happier and more productive this also includes your closet.
Some of my main tips to declutter and organize your closet.
Donate or sell unwanted clothes Get a designated donation box Consider adding inexpensive shelves Separate by Season Get shoe organizers to make the most of your space Designate a Spot for 'Junk' Get a professional to help if you are too busy
Bianca Hallveig CLOSET ORGANISER & PERSONAL STYLIST SERVICE AVAILABLE
I love to organize my home but especially my bedroom and Closet. I feel at peace when everything is in place. If you looked in your closet and see lots of clothes but nothing to wear? Well, you are not alone. I will provide personal styling advice and tips. Together we’ll review your wardrobe, picking out the keepers and nding new ways to style them, while ditching the pieces holding you back. My bespoke decluttering and organising service is tailored to your personal needs. I understand it is a huge deal to let someone into your space. I work at a pace that is right for you and my approach is focused on your overall goal.
Bianca Hallveig Sigurdardottir Contact me to book an appointment
Photo by Carolin Giese
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