Scarlett Hooft Graafland

Arctic Photography of a Polar Bear Skin

Spontaneous photos can only happen when you stay in a place for some time. Like the Polar Bear photo, a performance I did wrapped in a polar bear skin. I saw the skin hanging outside a house, the hunter, an old woman, killed the animal a few weeks before. After some negotiations I was able to rent the skin from her and together with my assistant, an Inuit woman, we scouted the area on a snow mobile to find a good spot. I wanted to have the immense grey sky, the heaviness of it. At the horizon you could sometimes see a stripe of white light, so we waited for many days before the circumstances were right; the grey sky, the sea ice just freezing up in the background. The temperature was extremely low that day, minus 25, so right after the photo was taken I had to put on caribou skin boots and jump to get feeling in my feet again.

– Scarlett Hooft Graafland

Graafland’s photographs from the Canadian arctic are magical and surreal as seen in these images which include antlers lined up on a frozen lake and the artist wearing a polar bear skin. Her ideas frequently emerge directly from the local mythology that originates in otherworldly natural environments.

View more of her work on her website: www.scarletthooftgraafland.nl

Canadian Arctic Photograph

Igloo in the Canadian Arctic