Orbis et Globus (Circle and Sphere)

Mynd: Studio Granda
Mynd: Studio Granda

The artwork "Orbis et Globus" was inaugurated on the Arctic Circle in Grímsey Island in the fall of 2017. It is a 3-meter sphere which is meant to be moved around the north end of the island in accordance with the movement of the Arctic Circle.

Before the 2018 Summer Solstice Festival in Grímsey, the artwork was moved about 130 meters to the south, and this year it will be moved approx. 69 meters.
The artwork is a symbol and a landmark for the Arctic Circle and has attracted attention from all over the world. The aim of the project was to draw attention to this northern most part of Iceland and to increase attractiveness of the island for tourists. Already, this has happened with great success. The inhabitants of Grímsey are less than 100 people and it is of the utmost importance to strengthen residence there all year round.

Most visitors that come to Grímsey now, aim to reach "the sphere of the north". They want to see and touch the artwork and while doing so step beyond the Arctic Circle.
The walk from the harbour to the artwork is about 3.7 km and from the airport about 2.5 km. One must expect about 3 hours walk forth and back. It is recommended to stay overnight as the traditional stop of the ferry and the air plain is almost too short to enjoy and see the most essential things on the island. Things one should try to do while on the island is to walk around in the little village, drop by the Fiske-monument and read the sign-boards, visit the restaurant Krían (Arctic tern) and/or the smallest Café in Iceland at the Guesthouse Gullsól. Take a walk to the lighthouse at the islands southernmost point and walk along the south-west shore of the island and look at the beautiful basalt columns and old fishing huts. On that route one can find the "Century stones" which display the position of the arctic circle Anno 1717, 1817 and 1917. During the birding season (end April till beginning August) one must also calculate some time for bird-watching as that's one of the phenomenal things experiencing in Grímsey.

Orbis et Globus was designed by the artists Kristinn E. Hrafnsson in collaboration with Studio Grandi. It was selected to be the new landmark for the Arctic Circle in a competition for such an artwork held in 2013.

The 2019 Summer Solstice Festival in Grímsey will be held 20th to 23th June, by that time the art piece will be moved for the second time.
Here are some reviews on Orbis et Globus: