Hyperborea: Lands of the North Photography Exhibition to open at An Lanntair

  • Published on: 20th September 2017
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Taking its name from the mythical location found ‘beyond the North Wind’, this exhibition brings together three acclaimed photographers from Iceland, Scotland and England. The 18th century philosopher John Toland identified ‘Hyperborea’ as the Isle of Lewis, making it a fitting location to share a series of works which explore the remote geographical regions of Northern Europe, such as Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands and the Outer Hebrides.

The stark black and white work of Ragnar Axelsson, better known as RAX, have been the subject of landmark photographic books such as Last Days of the Arctic.  His insightful and unsentimental images reveal vast landscapes, remote communities, and people making a living in the harshest of environments. Over three decades he has established himself as one of the world’s leading documentary photographers with work published in the New York Times, National Geographic and Time. Ragnar Axelsson will be speaking at An Lanntair as part of Faclan: The Hebridean Book Festival on Thursday 26 October at 7pm (Tickets available at Lanntair.com/Faclan), fitting in with this year’s theme of looking to the edge of the map for Ultima Thule.

The photographer Alex Boyd is best known for his brooding landscapes which utilise antique processes to depict the mountainous terrain of his native Scotland, with images made using silver, cyanide and glass. This exhibition contains new work made in the Hebrides, with Japanese-inspired landscape work made in challenging conditions on the peaks of the Cuillin Ridge of Skye, as well as in the Outer Hebrides. It will also feature new documentary work from the series ‘The Land of Maybe’ made over several years and journeys to The Faroe Islands. Concentrating on portraits of the people and landscapes of the archipelago, this ambitious project will be published as a book in late 2017.

Chris Friel is perhaps best known for his experimental and innovative approach to making images, using digital techniques to make haunting and ethereal works which explore time and place.

After’ is a moving response to the loss of his son Joe, who took his own life in December 2016. Made over the course of a single day, the work is a meditation on memory and place, and was made in the landscapes of Lewis and Harris

Alex Boyd, Curator of Hyperborea said:

“For An Lanntair to host the work of internationally acclaimed Axelsson, one of the most important documentary photographers of the last 30 years, and that of Chris Friel, one of the most experimental, is a coup for the island.

RAX’s images of his native Iceland, the Faroes and Greenland have become some of the most iconic of the North, with a selection on display on the island for the first time.

The work of Chris Friel is continually evolving. This new collection of work titled After, is a response to the loss of his son Joe, some of the most quietly beautiful, personal and moving landscape photography to be made in living memory.

My own work is titled ‘The Land of Maybe’, and is the first large scale attempt to document the people and places of the Faroe Islands since Gunnie Moberg. It will be shown alongside Silent Islands – Dark Mountains, a series of work made on St Kilda and the Isle of Skye.

The exhibition serves as a fantastic introduction to this year’s Faclan with its theme of Ultima Thule and the Far North”

The show has been curated by Alex Boyd, with assistance from The Flow Festival of Photography, and with assistance from the Daiwa Foundation.