Cristian Barnett is a photographer with over 15 years experience, working with many of the best cookbook publishers and magazines, as well as restaurants, hotels and other commercial clients. His recent book titles include Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes and Hope and Greenwood’s Sweets Made Simple. His magazine work includes Country Living, Saga, and House and Garden and this last year, he worked on a number of Sainsbury’s campaigns with AMV and TMW. His long-term project Life on the Line, a series of portraits shot along the Arctic circle, was published in September 2014. Today we feature that series.
Life on the Line
The idea for Life on the Line came about after looking at the Arctic Circle on the map. I became intrigued by the mysterious dotted line that dissected apparently vast empty spaces and I quickly began to formulate a plan for a portrait project.
An invisible line of latitude, 66 degrees and 33 minutes north of the Equator, the Arctic Circle intersects eight countries and is home to a rich diversity of people for whom the sun never sets in high summer, nor rises in deepest winter.
My first journey north was in 2006 and I have shot the entire project on color film with a medium-format Hasselblad. I have now managed to make thirteen trips in the Arctic, shooting in some twenty-three cities, towns and remote villages. I have also achieved my ambition of taking most of the portraits as close as humanly possible to the Arctic Circle, however some of the people and landscapes were so extraordinary I extended my remit to include them. No portrait has been taken further than 35 miles (50km) from the Arctic Circle.
It has been an honor to spend time among many Arctic people – the Gwichin, Saami, Khanti, Nenets, Evenks, Yakuts and Inuit – and clearly the Arctic Circle is much more than snow and polar bears. There are many thriving modern settlements where you are more likely to meet a hairdresser than a reindeer herder. There is much more diversity to life here than one might imagine.
To view more of Cristian’s work, please visit his website.