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Anna Filipova

The recent Royal College of Art graduate shoots otherworldly images of the Arctic landscape

The transient nature of travel and the ever-changing topographical scope of the earth is central to London-based photographer Anna Filipova’s work. The recent Royal College of Art graduate has looked closely at our natural landscape to produce transfixing, otherworldly images. In a mostly monochromatic format, Filipova recorded her travels through the Arctic and Greenland. The images she created are startlingly as they are of natural phenomena but appear graphically and digitally manipulated in their abstraction.

Central to Filipova’s focus is the disappearing body of nature - the disintegrating rocks, the melting ice and the frothing sea are transient and captured with spontaneity by Filipova. She doesn’t hark a political message, but, instead, records a nature’s ephemera.

DD: Why is travel so important and appealing to you?
Anna Filipova:
Travel is central to my practise as it makes possible personal encounters with natural phenomena.

DD: What was the greatest moment of your Arctic trips and what are your favourite memories from there?
Anna Filipova: 
My very first impression of the Arctic was the otherworldliness of the place: coast with nothing to see but bare ancient rock, meandering glaciers touching the horizon and icebergs looking like cathedrals; this dry polar desert with its omnipresent rocks and boulders and lack of vegetation seemed completely out of place. North – further north, Arctic north represents a place of extremes that is also a place of wonders.

DD: Your work is mostly landscape-based, are you just not as interested in shooting people?
Anna Filipova: 
The story behind the subject is the important thing for me. I'm interested in portraiture but I haven't yet found the right story or the right project to pursue it. For the time being landscape seems more appropriate.

DD: Do you try to tackle any environmental issues in your work or is it purely observational or artistic?
Anna Filipova: 
In my last project I showed in a very subtle way the climate change and how it affects the Arctic. I didn't want it to be the main point of the project as there are already so many works regarding global warming. I wanted to emphasise how the Arctic weather - changes, erases, creates or simply hides the land, and what happens to our senses when we lose ourselves in a land where we cannot see boundaries or outlines...when we lose a sense of scale...

DD: What's next - any new plans and projects?
Anna Filipova: 
I am working on a project about environmental sustainability in Iceland and the challenges the Icelanders face in trying to preserve their environment as the cleanest in the world.