Whether shooting in the harsh snowy regions of Greenland or on the basalt-lined waters of Iceland’s Stuðlagil canyon, Jan Erik Waider highlights the textures and fleeting shapes of the earth’s landscapes. His photographs often isolate monumental subject matter like glaciers and deep, rocky canyons in a way that makes the abstracted forms appear like mysterious, otherworldly environments, an approach he continues in his recent LAVA series.
Earlier this year, Waider, who is based in Hamburg but frequently travels throughout remote regions in the Nordic countries, trekked to Iceland’s Nátthagi valley following the Fagradalsfjall volcano eruption. He spent three days getting as close as possible to the magma as it poured across the landscape and using a telephoto lens to document its changing forms in magnified detail, which he describes in a note to Colossal:
I was absolutely blown away by how quickly the lava field changed. Apparently, cooled lava broke open, and thick, fresh lava flowed out and formed new shapes and “sculptures,” which were then destroyed again by new lava a few minutes later. This simultaneously beautiful but also brutal transience was the charm for me. A surreal landscape that in just a few minutes will no longer be visible to anyone.
The resulting images contrast the crispy, charred edges of the cooled rock with its molten underbelly. You can see a portion of the LAVA series is below, but check out Waider’s Behance for the full collection. All of the shots are also available as prints on his site.
Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!