The global award in photography and sustainability

Lynn Davis

For over twenty years I have made the long journey from New York to Greenland to photograph the giant icebergs that calve off the glacier in Ilulissat, a small town on the northwest coast that faces Disco Bay, and beyond, the Labrador Sea. My first trip to the Arctic was in 1986. Four journeys later, in 2007, my journeys came to a melancholy end when the giant glacier had become so diminished in size that icebergs, such as I had known them, became almost impossible to find. Going, going and no doubt gone was the mystical experience of awe that I first experienced when photographing that changing alchemy of ice and water that created such monolithic forms.

In those early days I took for granted that there would always be a glacier, and that once summer arrived, the glacier, as it had for thousands of years, would naturally calve endless flotillas of icebergs to float slowly towards the Labrador Sea. What was first a mystical and life changing experience has now turned to an awareness, that nature as we have known it and taken for granted is now disappearing faster than we had ever imagined. It has been my melancholy privilege to record and celebrate such an extraordinary journey of impermanence and renewal. It is my hope and prayer that by witnessing and recording such transcendent phenomena that it is not too late to change what now seems like an irreversible fate.