Barrow Cabins • Eirik Johnson
Edition of 200 + 50 signed special edition books with prints, 9.5 x 13 with die cut cover, 40 pages with 22 pictures, pages are bound heavy weight Moab pigment prints, hand sewn saddle stitch binding, Ice Fog Press, 2019.
These photographs depict seasonal hunting cabins built by the Iñupiat inhabitants of Utqiaġvik (formerly known as Barrow), Alaska as seen through the extremes of the Arctic summer and winter. The cabins are situated along the shores of the Chukchi Sea, part of the larger Arctic Ocean. Each structure has been fashioned out of whatever makeshift materials are on hand, from weathered plywood to old shipping pallets collected from the nearby-decommissioned U.S. Navy Base, which has itself been refashioned into a hub of climate change scientific research.
I first photographed the cabins in 2010, in the midnight hour of the Arctic summer when the sun never falls beneath the horizon. In 2012, I returned to photograph the cabins during the frigid grip of the Winter Solstice, when only a brief window of dusk-like light illuminates the otherwise lightless days. Seen together, both the summer and winter series are a meditation on the passage of time and the fragile seasonal shift along the extreme horizon of the Arctic.