One would imagine that having spent your entire life in the arctic cold, you would yearn for something a bit warmer. For some perhaps yes, but that is not the case with Alaska-born photographer Acacia Johnson. Not only does Johnson embrace it, but she celebrates the chilly world in her pictures, collectively called Polaris.
“When I dream, I dream of cold wind” explains Johnson, and in fact she has gone beyond her own backyard and chased the bitter cold wherever it may be: Iceland, Norway in a never-ending search of the beautifully icy natural landscapes. Johnson explores these remote places by foot, seeking moments when reality seems to straddle the realm of actuality and surrealism.
Musing on these thought, Johnson said,
“Alone on these journeys, I contemplate how the dynamic contrasts and fleeting elements of the Far North impart a heightened sense of being alive, and reflect upon the peculiar combination of wonder, fear, and respect that the landscape invokes. Polaris, the North Star, functions as a metaphor for the constancy of magic that I perceive in an environment that is otherwise in constant flux.”
Polaris is the star that shines brightest in the constellation Ursa Minor. It is very near to the north celestial pole, thus making it the current northern pole star. Quite an appropriate peg for Johnson to use. Her images from series are a work in progress as she documents exactly those landscapes that so captivate her, and it’s easy to see why they are indeed so mesmerizing.
Subtle color tones and torrents of pale whites, blues as well as grays make for a bizarrely calm viewing experience, making you want to experience the bitter cold in person. Polaris is a series of moody, atmospheric photos that embody the profound connection of Johnson with the Far North’s ethereal terrains.
Johnson characterizes her photographic process as “expeditionary in nature,” as she captures stunning images of the untamed arctic wilderness. Her work, no doubt is ascetically beautiful, as she depicts the scenery speckled with frosty caves, serene shores, desolate mountains, and silky waterfalls.
View her homage to the icy arctic here.