Sodium Sun / Natrium Sól
- Stuart Richardson
- ISBN 9789979726753
Sodium Sun is the result of a three year investigation on the role of streetlights in the Icelandic landscape. Several of the images from the book formed an exhibition at the National Museum of Iceland in 2014.
The relentless darkness of Icelandic winter evokes images of snow-covered landscapes lit by the moon and the aurora, yet most Icelanders experience the winter under the constant glow of streetlights. Sodium Sun examines how these ever-present streetlights influence the Icelandic landscape.
In Iceland, the streetlights are the first indicator of suburban sprawl, often going up long before buildings are ever built, hinting at human life where it does not yet exist. The lights are clustered in areas where there is little traffic. They obscure the outline of landscape and all but the brightest stars. Once in their pool of light, it is nearly impossible to see anything outside of it — vast landscapes collapse into claustrophobic islands of illumination.
Yet even as they block out the natural environment, there is stark beauty in the geometric forms — the artificial suns we have created to bring back the light.