May 8, 2013
Barrow Cabins, a photo series by Seattle-based photographer Eirik Johnson, depicts homebuilt Alaskan hunting cabins during the seasonal extremes far above the Arctic Circle. Johnson got the idea for the series of diptychs while on assignment photographing a decommissioned US Navy base outside of Barrow, Alaska.
Hugging the US’s northernmost point, Barrow is so far north that the sun never fully sets during the summer—which gave Johnson ample sunlight in the evenings to explore the seasonal hunting camps on the outskirts of town. Built by the native Iñupiat people, the hunting cabins are vernacular shelters built of cast-off and found materials, used for only part of the year. While photographing the cabins, Johnson “felt the work was missing something” and decided to “return to the camp during the extreme counterpoint of the Arctic winter solstice, when the sun never completely rises and the sea ice has moved in to blanket the cabins.” The result: immaculate, paired images of vernacular structures amid the Arctic’s climactic extremes. Click through to see the photos!