Ásta and Gústi moved to Laugarás in 1967 to continue on their parent’s tradition of greenhouse farming. Ásta’s parents, were the first ones to settle and build greenhouses in the area where four generations of Sælands lived till now. For 53 years Gústaf and Ásta persisted with the family business but this was not attainable any more due to their old age. They had to give up their property and move out of the area, ending a family thread that lasted for almost a century.
The book reflects upon elements of persistence and connection with nature that are prevalent in Icelandic culture through documenting the history of the Sælands in Laugarás and combining archival photographs from the family and new images made from 2017 to 2021.
The story unfolds in 4 chapters, starting from the place that the Sælands inhabited, how they turned it into fertile land through hard labour in the greenhouses, their life in the house that they lived for half a century, forcing the reader to slowly unfold and discover that life through mirrors and windows, and closing with documenting where the family lives now and their links with their past.
Stills from the video accompanying the project are combined in the epilogue with my own thoughts, reflections of the family on their life in Laugarás and a brief note on the history of Icelandic greenhouse farming.
The dimensions of the book record the year the family arrived in Laugarás and the year they left. Vassilis Triantis