Element is a brand that likes to keep things in the family. Earlier this year, the American men’s brand launched its denim capsule collection with illustrator and long term collaborator Timber!, and for their latest venture, they’ve enlisted Element Advocate Brian Gaberman, a photographer who has long been under the brand’s wing.
Gaberman’s niche approach to visuals is dry plate glass negatives, an age old process that’s as historic, rustic and raw, as it is artistic. With that in mind, Element enlisted Gaberman to produce The Road To Wolfeboro. A visual journey that takes us from the urban landscape of New York, where both the brand and Gaberman hold loyalty to, right through to the rural town of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. A place where life is about endurance and simple living, much like the aesthetic Element takes to it’s clothing.
Giving Gaberman no brief other than to capture what he sees on his journey, Element sent their collaborator off packing. “I arrived in New York, a blank canvas,” he explains. “I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to capture anything. There’s nothing more terrifying then being given unlimited freedom. As a child growing up in Connecticut, New York was our big escape. It was a big adventure. We’d push around the city all day long with no destination in mind, just freedom. That seemed like a good place to start with The Road To Wolfeboro.”
“As a child growing up in Connecticut, New York was our big escape. It was a big adventure. We’d push around the city all day long with no destination in mind, just freedom” – Brian Gaberman
From bustling New York, through greener backdrops on the way to New Hampshire, Gaberman captured everything from city parks to collapsed wood cabins with the focus being unexpected details or moments. “I’m not after any grand scene or pretty picture,” he explains in the film. “I’m chasing what’s on the sideline. The real beauty in these glass negatives is their weaknesses, their flaws. Every plate I make is unique.”
The visual results of the road trip project the same aesthetic seen in the Wolfeboro collection itself; tough, reliable jackets that can carry themselves alone. And with Gaberman’s hands-on approach to his craft, what we see is storytelling at its most authentic.
The Road to Wolfeboro exhibition tour will kick off on 21 November in Barcelona, before heading to Lisbon on 28 November and culminating in London on 4 December. Gaberman’s photography will take centre stage alongside screenings of the documentary and live music by Element Advocate Bastien Durverdier (AKA KéPA).