Glacier is an ode to Iceland’s glaciers by renowned documentary photographer, Ragnar Axelsson. Having grown up near the glaciers and flown his plane over them countless times since, Axelsson has a deep affinity for the ice that has shaped the country’s land and psyche, as well as his lifelong fascination. With near-abstract black-and-white aerial images, Glacier is a breathtaking view of glacial forms, textures, and patterns as seen from a lyrical flight that starts above the clouds and ends at sea.
The photographs, taken in the past ten years, are at once elemental, dynamic and timeless, unfamiliar and intimate. Surface details of the ever-moving ice, brought into sharp relief by volcanic ash, show powerful natural forces at play, but unseen and unstoppable forces are also at work. Nothing can be done to prevent Iceland’s glaciers from melting away. Within the next two centuries, they will be gone forever.
Ragnar Axelsson, “Rax,” (b. 1958) is an Icelandic photojournalist who has spent the last 30 years photographing the people, weather, and landscape in some of the most remote and isolated regions of the Arctic including Iceland, Greenland, and Siberia. He has been a photographer at the Icelandic newspaper, Morgunbladid, since 1976, and has also worked on free-lance assignments all over the world. Rax’s work has been featured in publications such as LIFE, Newsweek, Stern, GEO, National Geographic, Time, and has won numerous awards for his work including over 20 Icelandic Photojournalist Awards; including Iceland’s highest honor, the Order of the Falcon, Knight’s Cross, for his work in the Arctic.