With the sun fading away and the Arctic beginning to turn dark and cold, Dane Gudauskas finds enough warmth to take flight (Lofoten Islands, Norway) (Courtesy of Chris Burkard)
Southern California, Hawaii and Australia are all legendary locales for some of the best surfing in the world, and the pristine beaches and palm trees only add to the allure.
But for Chris Burkard and surfers Patrick Millin, Brett Barley and Chadd Konig, the more exciting waves can be found among the snow-capped mountains, jagged blue ice crystals and the Northern Lights of the Arctic.
This March, a two-man production team followed award-winning surf photographer Chris Burkard and three warm-blooded surfers to the northern 68th parallel, at Unstad Beach in Norway.
The result was a new SmugMug Films short documentary, Arctic Swell: Surfing the Ends of the Earth.
Although they often times elude us, the Northern Lights have the potential to completely enchant us as well (Courtesy of Chris Burkard)
The California-based Burkard, the senior staff photographer at Surfer magazine, relishes being able to travel great distances to photograph the most interesting surf locales.
He is adept at pairing surfing action against dramatic landscapes.
His recent book, the aptly-titled “Distant Shores: Surfing at the Ends of the Earth,” features surf photography from across five continents.
Chris Burkard, Photographer.
“I want people to drift away when they look at my images,” says Burkard in the film.
“I want them to feel like it’s taken them so far from where they are at that moment that they’re immersed in that feeling,”
East of the Sun and West of the Moon; Old Tales from the North, New York: G. H. Doran, illustrated by Kay Nielsen (1922 edition).
There was an appetite in the early twentieth century for luxurious collections of children’s stories, often bound in gold-toothed vellum, to be given as gifts.
Brilliant artists of the day including Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac were commissioned to illustrate them.
Perhaps one of the finest creations to emerge from this golden age of illustration was an edition, first published in 1914, of East of the Sun and West of the Moon which boasted twenty-five colour plates and many more monochrome images by Kay Nielsen, a young Danish artist who had studied in Paris before moving to England in 1911.
The compendium consists of fifteen fairy tales gathered by the Norwegian folklorists Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Engebretsen.
Translated into English by George Webbe Dasent (1817–1896), the stories — populated by witches, trolls, ogres, sly foxes, mysterious bears, beautiful princesses and shy country lads turned heroes — were praised by Jacob Grimm himself for having a freshness and a fullness that “surpasses nearly all others”.
The Great War interrupted Nielsen’s career and he never quite reached the same heights as an illustrator afterwards.
But his work did embellish some further collections of stories, notably by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen.
In his fifties he moved to Hollywood to work for Walt Disney and some of his illustrations graced the “Night on Bald Mountain” and “Ave Maria” sequences of Fantasia (1940).
He was let go by Disney in 1941 and spent the final sixteen years of his life in poverty.
Originally printed in London in 1914 Nielsen’s East of the Sun and West of the Moon saw a number of reprints over the years and decades, most recently in 2015 when Taschen published a glorious edition with three accompanying essays (illustrated with dozens of rare artworks by Nielsen), exploring the history of Norwegian folktales and Nielsen’s life and work.