oil on canvas, 41cm x 51cm, Iain White, 2008, £105
This cluster of farm buildings on the south side of the Snaefjellnes Peninsula, below the mountain ridge of Ytri-Raudamelur and Gerduberg is typical in style with its whitewashed stone or later concrete walls and corrugated iron roofs here painted blue (elsewhere they might be red or green). This distinctive Icelandic use of corrugated iron imported from England, sometimes for walls as well as roofs replaced earlier forms of timber cladding and turf buildings.
In Iceland, corrugated galvanized iron arrived in the 1860s when ships travelling north from Britain to buy sheep would carry cargoes of corrugated iron to sell in Reykjavik, where it was well suited to the isolated volcanic island with limited local construction materials particularly timber. Indeed, the main source of wood for construction of all types had traditionally been driftwood from the beach. Corrugated iron cladding became typical of a Swiss chalet style initially imported from Norway that became the dominant force in Icelandic architecture both in towns and the countryside in the early 20th century.