The smell of solitude, in the wind

Fergal Smith. Photo: Alex Laurel


In 1995, artist/musician/writer Bill Drummond bought a photograph entitled A Smell of Sulphur in the Wind by Richard Long, for $20,000.

The photograph depicts a stone circle in a desolate Icelandic landscape, taken by Long while crossing Iceland from coast to coast on foot.

Five years later, Drummond felt that he was no longer “getting his money’s worth” from the photograph and decided to sell it. In 2001 he cut the photograph into 20,000 pieces to sell for $1 each. His plan, upon retrieving the $20,000 in cash, is to walk with it to the remote place in Iceland where Richard Long had made the photograph and bury it in a box beneath the stone circle.

Surf consistency: 3   Wave variety: 3      

Climate: 1  Radness: 10   Budget: 2

He will then take his own photograph of the site, bring it home, frame it, hang it in the same place in his bedroom where the Richard Long hung, and call the new work The Smell of Money Underground.

What does this have to do with surfing? Very little, other than the fact that your relish and zeal for the Icelandic surf adventure would have to be something close to Drummond’s desire for a new picture, in order for you to fork out your own cash to take a surf trip there.

But if you do, bravo.


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