Glacier (Qerndu, 2018)

Photograph © Ragnar Axelsson

Photograph © Ragnar Axelsson

Photograph © Ragnar Axelsson

Photograph © Ragnar Axelsson

Photograph © Ragnar Axelsson

"The glacier…hides a mysterious life of it’s own, but if we are lucky, as we follow it down from the peak of the mountain it covers, it will allow us glimpses of some of the many odd creatures of ice and ash, and deep secrets from centuries past, it carries with it to the sea.” 
– Ragnar Axelsson

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Ragnar Axelsson, a longtime Leica photographer affectionately known as RAX, is one of Iceland’s heroes, documenting the Arctic for over 35 years. He's authored many books, photographing the people, weather, and landscape, in some of the most remote and isolated regions around Iceland, Greenland, and Siberia. He’s won numerous awards for this work, including over 20 Icelandic Photojournalist Awards;The Leica Oskar Barnack Award (Honorable Mention); The Grand Prize, Photo de Mer, Vannes; and Iceland’s highest honor, the Order of the Falcon, Knight’s Cross, for his work in the Arctic. 

His steadfast belief in the importance of documenting the life and changes in the Arctic, has been the driving force behind creating his most recent book, Glacier. A must-have for the astonishing beauty of the region (gorgeously printed in Italy), as well as for those of you following our world's current environmental and climate-change issues. This book is "an ode to the glacier," the current status is they are shrinking 100 meters per year, with scientists predicting they will disappear within two centuries.

In Jonathan Blaustein’s book review of Glacier in The New York Times Lens Blog (12.28.2018), he writes; “Earth’s surface, in his abstracted, horizon-less photographs, does look like a massive supine dragon or an impossibly immense dinosaur, some reptilian beast with cracked, rough-hewn skin and eyes about to open.” 

"The pearls of Iceland are it’s Glaciers," Ragnar Axelsson responded.

Photographs and Text by Ragnar Axelsson
Foreword by artist Olafur Eliasson
Reykjavík: Qerndu, 2018
Icelandic version: Jökull 

Ragnar Axelssons "Glacier" exhibition at Ásmundasal Art Center in Reykjavik

Icelandic Photographer, Ragnar 'RAX' Axelsson


GARY BEEBER: Sylvester Manor, Shelter Island

Shed, Sylvester Manor 
Photograph © Gary Beeber

Ruined Stairway, Sylvester Manor
Photograph © Gary Beeber

Gate to Nowhere, Sylvester Manor
  Photograph © Gary Beeber

Monument, Slave Graveyard since 1651, Sylvester Manor
Photograph © Gary Beeber


Over the years I drove by Sylvester Manor many times without ever knowing what it was.

Something draws me there, I've been back many times. The hauntingly bucolic overgrown garden was part of the former slave holding provisioning plantation purchased in 1652 by Nathaniel Sylvester for 1600 pounds of sugar. I find myself compelled to chronicle it’s evolving decay while attempting to understand it’s complex history.

View more images:  

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Read Sylvestor Manor's history:
by Mac Griswold



 The Varanasi Diaries: 
Surfaces, Scenes and Society
The Varanasi Diaries: 
Surfaces, Scenes and Society
"In Surfaces, I am trying to convey the experience and feelings, starting with the 2-D surfaces of the city, in a conversation with paintings." 

" These photographs were taken in different parts of Varanasi - in the old city along the Ganges, as well as in newer neighborhoods..."

"In Scenes, I am looking at buildings and all kind of structures in Varanasi; architecture and the mark of men in this usually crowded city - but no people are included in this volume. When I found my way into it, the approach, I thought a lot of the work Atget did in Paris and Walker Evans in the US."

VARANASI DIARIES : Surfaces, Scenes and Society
Photographs by Einar Falur Ingólfsson

"Varanasi is a constantly changing array of colours and smells, a cacophony of deafening noises and dust; cows and bulls on roads, potholes, cycle-rickshaws and others with engines; trees, temples, lingams, boats and fires, tranquil and often quite run-down old houses, narrow lanes and crowded highways, advertisements, new and fairly uniform neighborhoods, and numerous gods. Then there is the mighty river, The Ganges, at center of the city - and people. Varanasi is the home of three million people and tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists come to visit. Together, they all make up the coulorful and vibrant society that the city consists of; the pilgrims, students, policemen, rickshaw drivers, widows, toddlers, boatmen, sweepers, sadhus, trash-collectors, shopkeepers, tourists, barbers, politicians, chai wallahs..." – Einar Falur Ingólfsson

The Varanasi Diaries are a bundle of three books, Surfaces, Scenes and Society, compiled in the city of Varanasi in India last October, where the books were also designed. They were released in a limited edition of 50 numbered copies; later be repackaged in a bigger book with more work. These photographs by Ingólfsson were taken in different parts of Varanasi - in the old city along the Ganges, as well as in newer neighborhoods, and in nearby Sarnath and Ramnagar.

WEBSITE: http://efi.is/


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Pétur Thomsen, Co-Director of the Icelandic Photography Festival, and Icelandic photographer and journalist, Einar Falur Ingólfsson, author of Varanasi Diaries and Land Seen Following in the Footsteps of Johannes Larsen, Crymogea, Reykjavík, Iceland 2017.

I first met photographer Einar Falur Ingólfsson as a fellow reviewer for the Landskrona Photo Festival Portfolio Reviews in Sweden. The following year he invited me to be a reviewer at the Icelandic Photography Festival in Reykjavic. Through Ingólfsson, and his students, I've gotten to know many Icelandic photographers and curators I'll write more about in the near future.