mahabis photo essay // abandoned places iceland

"Like a needle in a compass, graphic designer and photographer Jan Erik Waider keeps being drawn north."

We've come across this amazing series of photographs by Jan Erik Waider. Flitting between the freezing cold landscapes of Iceland, Greenland and the North Sea, Waider captures an eerie sense of tranquility that steals us away from the hectic rush of 21st Century life in the city. 

"In these sweeping and deserted landscapes Jan Erik Waider replaces our fast-paced life with the perseverance of waiting for the perfect moment to take the picture. Conscious solitude replaces the constant pressure of civilization – and the results are photographs which feed our yearnings."

These unnamed ruins on the harsh and remote planes of Iceland also conjure up history and romance in our minds. There is something about old walls that could be 50 or could be 500 years old (it is hard to tell exactly), that drives our imaginations to other times and places.

 

 

There they sit, the abandoned remnants of homes, embedded in a snow-swept plane on a remote island in iceland. Who lived here?

 

 

Once a warm fire welcomed visitors inside, and glass and shutters kept the harsh winter out and let the spring in. Now, the ruins are crumbling, exposed to the harsh climates and protruding from mounting snow. 

 

 

Cottages dotted across the landscape may have been welcome-havens for weary travellers. A wild pony now takes shelter in one.

 

 

Here we discover the round enclaves where the morning sun may once have flooded in and where once comfortable chairs and cushions welcomed those who had a quiet moment to reflect on the landscape from within. 

There seems to be a sense of sadness that these places have been abandoned. Perhaps in the end the climate was just too harsh, or the tyranny of distance made farm life uneconomical. Perhaps the modern world stole the inhabitants away. The mystery behind these ruins draws us in.

Jan Erik Waider is a graphic designer and photographer from Germany with, in his own words, a kind of 'wanderlust' for wild and remote scenery. All photos are courtesy of Jan Erik Waider, and quotations from his profile on NorthLandscapes. You can see the full photo essay on behance and even purchase prints of his work here

 

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