‘This girl is gonna go far!’ wrote Lucy, when we first featured profiled photographer Brooke Holm for ‘New Kids on The Blog’ back in 2013. In under five years, she certainly has.
After leaving Australia en route to her new home of New York City in August last year, Brooke spent a month traveling in Iceland, after wanting to visit for many years. ‘I knew that the landscape in Iceland was particularly special because of the intense volcanoes, rivers, geothermal areas, mountains and glaciers, and that it was visually very diverse,’ tells Brooke. When she arrived, it was the most varied-looking place she’d ever set eyes on.
What Brooke witnessed left her in awe, and subsequently us too, when she unveiled her latest exhibition ‘Mineral Matter’. This considered series comprises 10 epic photographs, that capture ‘the powerful flow of the rivers twist and roar on their journey out to sea, gathering colorful minerals, sediment and volcanic ash from high in the mountain ranges, depositing them out into the deltas,’ as Brooke explains. ‘Alongside these rivers are traces of human beings. There are footprints and relics of human curiosity, like car tyre tracks, weaving in and out of frame and stopping just short of the water.’
The landscapes are photographed entirely from above, an angle Brooke felt highlighted the intricacies of the colours and shapes, showed nature in full force, AND offered her the thrill of hanging out of a helicopter in a harness. ‘I don’t just throw a drone up there, I actually want to be up there. In a helicopter, or a plane, or a balloon – however I possibly can. It feels more personal that way,’ tells the unsuspecting daredevil.
Across the photographer’s personal (fine art) work, runs an undercurrent of environmental activism. ‘Mineral Matter’ follows on from her ‘Arctic’ series in 2015, and ‘Salt & Sky’ in 2016, which focussed on the salt ponds around Western Australia’s Shark Bay. ‘The effects of climate change are so profound and alarming, and it would be negligent of me to leave it out, considering my personal connection to nature and the environment,’ Brooke explains. ‘It is our home and we should be doing everything possible to protect it for right now AND for the future, so this is my way of contributing to the efforts the best I know how.’
In contrast to her earlier bodies of work, however, ‘Mineral Matter’ focuses on how the earth changes and moves us, on the landscape’s impact on humans (all the more relevant, when you consider Iceland is a country 100% sustainably powered by geothermal sources). ‘I’m so tired of witnessing humans destroying the environment like mindless fools, so I particularly wanted to capture a place where the thought of humans having dominion over the landscape was impossible, perhaps laughable,’ the photographer explains. ‘When you’re standing in front of a volcano, it’s hard not to be slammed with some kind of perspective that puts you back in your place. It demands respect. So, I wanted to see it for myself, and share it.’
‘Mineral Matter’ by Brooke Holm
On now until October 5th
311 Smith St, Fitzroy, Melbourne