Andrew Scriven launches Arctic project

06 August 2014

As London-based Network photographer Andrew Scriven prepares for a three week trip across Svalbard, we are equally excited to visually follow the Arctic's environmental marvels and better understand its impending threats. We caught up with Andrew before taking off to learn more of his upcoming project, creative drive and reflections of continued human development.

What is it that draws you to wildlife, landscape, and nature as opposed to other genres?
I appreciate the beauty of nature and the serenity it instils in me. I love being in natural surroundings and it where I feel most comfortable.

What is it about Svalbard in particular that made you want to shoot there?
I have sailed to Antarctica and wanted to experience the Arctic for a long time. There is something magical in the arctic regions. There is very little human development and the environment is stunning.

What are you most looking forward to on your trip?  What excites you the most?
I am looking forward to the feeling of freedom and adventure….feeling connected with the environment and marveling at its beauty and power.

What is it about the landscape that you think will provide you with such an inspiring trip?
The landscapes are enormous, imposing and wonderful.

Svalbard is a breeding ground for seabirds -and also features polar bears, reindeer, and marine mammals.  This will be an incredible sight – what is the most difficult aspect of photographing animals?
The environment is very challenging. Getting close, but not too close to these animals will be difficult.

What in your eyes will prove to be the most ‘trying’ part of your impending trip?
I am arriving in Svalbard with no immediate plans. I have a tent, warm clothes and lots of camera equipment. We will see what will happen.

Your trip will highlight the Arctic waters' threat from oil drilling and commercial fishing. What has drawn your interest to using photography to highlight environmental issues?
I believe we are becoming increasingly disconnected from our environment, partly through populations migrating to towns and cities. Photography is a way of reminding people what there is out there, and how important it is that we protect it from human development.

You support Greenpeace with this project - what about the organization has captured your interest over that of other similar campaigns?
I was particularly drawn to the experiences of the Arctic 30, a small group of people who risked their lives to try and stop the drilling. They were subsequently arrested by the Russians. I believe this sort of action is necessary to raise the alert on what is happening in the Arctic region right now. It is very easy for us to focus on our own lives and ignore the very real destruction that is taking place around the world in the name of monetary profits. We should be protesting against this development. How? For a start, we can boycott companies who are involved in the drilling and commercial fishing.

Give us one word to describe your drive as a photographer

What has been your most defining moment as a photographer?
Photographing a humpback whale as it emerged from the Antarctic Ocean. It changed my life.

Learn more about Andrew Scriven here, and stay tuned for more from his upcoming trip to Svalbard - launching August 12th!