Photographer and filmmaker Drew Doggett tells extraordinary tales of diverse cultures, animals, places, and communities. In his latest limited edition print series, he pays tribute to one of the most spectacular places left on Earth: The Arctic. His series Northern Dreams reveals the powerful animals and surreal, abstract landscapes at 80° North. It shows the harsh beauty of The Arctic, from polar bears and whales to sculpted ice forms.
Drew took Northern Dreams in Svalbard, the northernmost part of Norway. This incredible place is a bastion of surreal territory and incredible animals. As you might already know, the land gets midnight sun during summer and polar night during winter. In other words, there are twenty-four hours a day of sunlight in the summer, and twenty-four hours a day of darkness in the winter months.
The biggest animal celebrity of Svalbard is the polar bear. No wonder, as this is one of five places around the globe where they live. But in this series, other than bears, Drew also captures the surreal feeling of this location through images of whales, glaciers, fjords, and sea ice.
Images are different, yet unmistakably Drew’s. In one image, an abstract ice formation looks like a 20th-century sculpture. In others, like Cathedral of Snow, the snowscape resembles a minimalist painting. In Reverence, a perfectly serene plain of water is broken by the distinctive fin of a Minke whale. However, as a photographer and a lifelong advocate for the Earth, Drew says that the time he spent with a mother polar bear and her young cub stands out as one of his most emotional, moving encounters. Although polar bears are apex predators, Drew managed to capture the loving and universal interactions of a mother and child. As he explains, scenes like this were beautiful to witness in an extraordinary setting like Svalbard.
“Creating photographs of wild places and animals comes down to the challenge of establishing an emotional connection between the subject and the viewers,” Drew says. “At its core, my goal is always to honor and celebrate animals and places, as we can only love and protect what we understand.”