The Sun Voyager
The Sun Voyager (Sólfarið) is one of the most memorable and photogenic of all sculptures in the Reykjavik area. Shaped like the bulk or hull of a ship and formed of stainless steel, it is situated by the Reykjavik shore, just off the Saebraut road. It was sculpted by Jon Gunnar Arnason (1931-1989) as an ode to the sun.
As the Sun Voyager points toward the sea, it simultaneously seems to hint of seeking the unknown, a voyage, anticipation, hope, something exciting and promising, yet mysterious and dreamlike. Its shape, the bare essence of a ship, leaving the rest up to the imagination, has a simple, beautiful and classic quality to it and the sculpture comes across as somewhat ethereal. The form may indeed make it seem as if it were floating on air. In the end, it may well be its very openness to the experience and interpretation of the individual observer that lends the sculpture its greatest effect.
True to its name, the sun does further wonders to the scenery of the Sun Voyager, as it will reflect its rays in wonderful and different ways. Indeed, its base also offers reflection of the vessel in its own right. Photographing the Sun Voyager in midsummer by the rays of the midnight sun is particularly attractive, as well as taking photos during sunrise and sunset. The mountain ring of mount Esja, Skardsheidi and Akrafjall, as well as the waves of the sea, further complement the view and on clear days you may see as far as the beautiful Snaefellsnes peninsula with its legendary Snaefellsjokull glacier. In winter the mountain ring will be made clearer and with distinct lines by snow and ice, as well as adding a particular touch and variety to it when sculpture is clad in ice and snow. And fittingly, the sky above the vessel may be graced with the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) in all their splendour, as if the vessel and lights were silently calling out to each other in the night.