Acacia Johnson

Love, Death, and the Ocean
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Nationality: USA
Biography: Acacia Johnson is a photographer, artist and writer from Alaska, focused on human relationships to the earth's Polar Regions. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Acacia was the recipient a Fulbright grant in Canada to pursue a... read on
Public Story
Love, Death, and the Ocean
Credits: acacia johnson
Updated: 05/19/13

“Turning to face North, face the North, we enter our own subconscious.  Always, in retrospect, the journey North has the quality of dream.” –Margaret Atwood

 This body of work reflects upon the dreamlike, melancholy quality of journeys to the Far North in the darkness of the polar night.  Moving through a winter landscape of subdued color and artificial light, these images explore the way in which a world not governed by conventions of light or time seems to fall into the realm of the magical.

Following the lives and stories of a few individuals who inhabit this landscape, the three themes of love, death, and the ocean recur frequently, woven into the fabric of this boreal world.  The images are also motivated by these themes on a personal level: my love for this place and these people, a need to capture it before it is changed forever by the inevitability of death, and a fascination with the constant presence of an ever-changing ocean - under the constant gleam of the North Star in an ever-changing sky. 

Exploring notions of longing, nostalgia, and timelessness, this series ultimately examines the way that the dynamic contrasts of the northern landscape cause us to feel, profoundly, the essence of being alive – by the sheer awe of warmth in absence of cold; by fleeting moments of glittering arctic light before the world plunges back into velvety blackness.  


By Acacia Johnson —



By Acacia Johnson — Antarctica, in popular imagination, exists nearly as a mythical place. Cold, distant, inhospitable, and separated from the rest of the world by..

Under The Same Stars

By Acacia Johnson — Winter in the Arctic - vibrant, pulsing. The throb of club music pours from the community hall, streets alive with the roar of skidoos and the..


By Acacia Johnson — These images are a meditation on the boreal landscape of Alaska, my childhood home. In the Far North, a place not governed by conventions of light..


By Acacia Johnson —   Polaris  is an exploration of otherworldly occurrences in the wilderness of Alaska and Iceland. Polaris, the North Star, functions as a..


By Acacia Johnson —   The rain came in sheets and then in waves. It pounded our shelters and soaked into our skin. We awoke to pools of water filling our forest..
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