Óshlið: River Mouth \\ Slope

In this reflective and evocative multimedia post, filmmakers Sarah Thomas and Jon Randall hold a conversation around the ideas, stories and creative processes behind their project exploring Óshlið, an abandoned road in Iceland. As you listen in on their conversation, you can see a slideshow of images they’ve brought back from this unique and changing place – and then watch a preview of their film.

Our film represents a journey along Óshlið, an abandoned coastal road which is considered to be one of the most dangerous, and beautiful, in Iceland. Following the construction of a mountain tunnel in 2010, the road was closed and is now in the process of being rapidly reclaimed by both the mountain and the sea. The film delves into the stories of this road and its relationships with the people who maintained, traveled and died upon Óshlið. Through these voices, it reflects upon a post-human landscape and the nature of mortality.

The title embodies the topographical and compound nature of this film. Óshlið is an Icelandic word comprised of ós (river mouth) and hlið (slope). Óshlið is both the name of the road, and the place – from which it came and to which it will return.

To listen to our conversation, choose the ‘Listen in browser’ option rather than SoundCloud, so you can view the accompanying slideshow below.

 

Photographs: All colour photos © 2017 Sarah Thomas & Jon Randall; all b&w photos © Vegagerðin (The Icelandic Road Administration)

Find out more

For more information on the project, news and updates, please visit www.rivermouthslope.net and follow @OshlidFilm on Twitter.
Questioning Loss? Space for creative thinking...

"What do our experiences of loss - of place, objects, relationships - mean for our understanding of environmental or climate change? Share your thoughts in the Comments box below, or use the Contact Form." 
Sarah Thomas
Sarah is a non-fiction writer and documentary maker with a background in anthropology. She lived for several years in a remote corner of northwest Iceland and is currently crafting the experience into a memoir, through a PhD in creative writing at Glasgow University. She is co-directing a short film 'Óshlið River Mouth Slope' with Jon Randall, about an abandoned road near her former home in Iceland. Inspiration for her writing and films comes from dwelling, working and walking in the land and the stories of the people who are a part of it.
Penguin Books and author Robert Macfarlane selected Sarah to be their 'Summer Wayfarer' - a role linked to his best selling book The Old Ways. This saw her walk Britain on foot guided only by those she met along the way, wild camping and receiving the hospitality of strangers. The journey took her to Cumbria where she now lives, works and walks. In 2016 she was awarded a Weatherfronts commission in which she told the story of the 2015 Cumbria floods from within it, in her essay 'Rainfall, Fell'.

See www.journeysinbetween.wordpress.com and www.rivermouthslope.net
Jon Randall
Jon is a freelance film and performance maker based in Cumbria. His practice involves primarily using documentary as a medium through which to bear witness to the unique stories of people and places, identity and landscape. He is currently working with Sarah Thomas on 'Óshlið: River Mouth Slope', a film reflecting the stories of an abandoned coastal road in Iceland. Jon has also collaborated on performances for events by The Dark Mountain Project. Recent projects include facilitating renga (collaboratively composed poetry) for Outrider Anthems' Festival of the Dark and directing 'After the Floods' at the Dukes Theatre, an immersive performance installation exploring the experiences of Lancaster's homeless community during Storm Desmond in December 2015.

See http://www.jonrandall.net and www.rivermouthslope.net
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jonnyrandall
Vimeo: www.vimeo.com/jonrandall
Jon Randall on TwitterJon Randall on Vimeo

Author: Sarah Thomas

Sarah is a non-fiction writer and documentary maker with a background in anthropology. She lived for several years in a remote corner of northwest Iceland and is currently crafting the experience into a memoir, through a PhD in creative writing at Glasgow University. She is co-directing a short film 'Óshlið River Mouth Slope' with Jon Randall, about an abandoned road near her former home in Iceland. Inspiration for her writing and films comes from dwelling, working and walking in the land and the stories of the people who are a part of it. Penguin Books and author Robert Macfarlane selected Sarah to be their 'Summer Wayfarer' - a role linked to his best selling book The Old Ways. This saw her walk Britain on foot guided only by those she met along the way, wild camping and receiving the hospitality of strangers. The journey took her to Cumbria where she now lives, works and walks. In 2016 she was awarded a Weatherfronts commission in which she told the story of the 2015 Cumbria floods from within it, in her essay 'Rainfall, Fell'. See www.journeysinbetween.wordpress.com and www.rivermouthslope.net

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