One of the most fascinating sights you can see about a kilometre west of Djúpivogur, a small town in the Austurland Peninsula in eastern Iceland, are the ‘Eggin í Gleðivík’, that in English means the ‘Eggs of Merry Bay’. These gigantic eggs, placed on rows of plinths, are not from prehistoric birds, but the creative endeavours of an amazing Icelandic artist Sigurður Guðmundsson. There are 34 eggs in all that are, more or less, of the same size, except one.
How this came about has a story behind it. The presence of molten plinths, remnants from the landing of fish at Merry Bay port no more in use, was an eyesore. Previously, these plinths served to support a conduit for transporting fish to the fish-factory Bræðslan, which is now the site of a popular music festival and a contemporary art exhibition.
The district manager of Djúpivogur wanted to do something about the old plinths. So, he contacted Iceland’s renowned visual artist Guðmundsson for suggestions. Guðmundsson, who lives in China with his wife, also owns a home in a village called Himnaríki or Heaven near Djúpivogur.
Guðmundsson loved the local birds and had witnessed the arrival and departure of migratory birds. He came up with the idea of representing these birds. And what better way to represent them than by creating their gigantic eggs resting on the plinths!
This tribute to the native birds of eastern Iceland was not easy. The 34 enlarged eggs are made of granite that was specially imported from China. Each egg represents a species of the nesting bird of the area, many of which are migratory that visit Iceland to lay eggs from June to August.
Guðmundsson completed the artwork in record time and it was thrown open to the public on August 14, 2009, The artwork stretches for 200 meters and, for the artist, it was one of the biggest artworks he had undertaken in such a short time.
These beautiful granite eggs are supposed to be the exact replica of the eggs of such birds and they slightly differ from each other. The one that is bigger than others belongs to the red-throated diver, the official bird of Djúpivogur. What’s more, each egg has a signboard that gives the name of the zoological name of the bird and its common Icelandic name. For the viewers, it combines visual delight with education about the bird species.
Guðmundsson was the right choice for this project. Not only is he a native of Djúpivogur, but also an internationally renowned visual artist. This noted artist has been conferred with several international awards for his visual artwork. With Eggs of Merry Bay, he has not only added another feather to his cap but also brought the town of Djúpivogur on the tourist map.
The tourists visiting Djúpivogur not only enjoy the egg installations but also get a chance to buy souvenirs consisting of small castings of eggs in a gift box, among others. Besides the Eof Merry Bay, the town has other tourist attractions as well.