I recently attended a brilliant and inspirational Coventry Coversation with creative photographer Phil Brooks. He spoke of how he has always been fascinated with extreme locations around our planet, in particular the Northern regions such as the Greenland, Iceland and the North Pole itself.
He thrives off the excitement brought about by the adventurous landscapes and marvellous views that only a small few local inhabitants regularly witness. In order to define his view on the “North” he decided to go there himself and explore the countries, landscapes and communities that are found 60 degrees north of the equator.
It is this adventure which influenced the name of his latest work, “60 Degrees North”, which we were privileged to view throughout his speech.
He mentioned how he embarked on a physical and spiritual journey that began on the Siberian border with Norway, through Scandinavia, to the Scottish Islands incuding Orkney and then continued on to the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Northern Canada and Southern Alaska. He showed us some of his most recent work too, from when he visited the cold and desolate country of Siberia. Phil told us how it was this country which truly completed his journey.
Through Phil’s extraordinary photographs, we were able to share some of his experiences and develop a greater understanding of the lands and the people who occupy this northernmost part of the world.
Not only this, we can engage with the awe-inspiring, sublime landscapes he encountered on his journey; as well as being introduced to individuals and communities he met along the way. Through these compelling images, he raises questions about stereotyping and westernisation.
Overall, his work reveals the complexity of this environment and his own passion and affinity for the North. He is truly an inspiration in terms of how to take photographs with depth and meaning.