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Celebrate Earth Day with Brooke Holm

  
Today Earth Day marks its 50th anniversary. What started as a unified response to an environmental crisis in the 1970’s, has now demanded a new way forward to protect our planet. Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable. 
For ISĒ, sustainability is not merely a desire. It is a necessity. We embrace Earth Day, everyday, and collaborate solely with producers who share this very personal and positive vision.

We caught up with Brooke Holm, a New York-based Australian photographer whose work traverses dramatic landscapes, conceptual still life, considered interiors and architecture. 
Holm’s fine art practice investigates the unique and complex bonds humans develop with natural environments. Her work explores ideas of our impact on the world, and the world’s impact on us, by acknowledging and revering the sublime elements of Nature, and in turn examining the human context within that environment. With concern for the fragility of our planet, her work focuses on locations that are significant within the global context of climate change.

 

ISE | Brooke Holm - Sand Sea IXBrooke Holm's 'Sand Sea' series

 

How would you describe yourself and your work philosophy?
My work is deeply rooted in a reverence for nature that I learned to express through my photography. I am interested in whether concepts of connection and coexistence with our universe are more discernable when altering the observational and experiential norms of everyday perspective. This is what often leads me to photograph landscapes from an aerial viewpoint: the desire to be removed from our conventional way of seeing and be introduced to something unfamiliar. Comparable to astronauts looking down on Earth from space, a shift in cognition is possible when seeing the previously unseen.

 

ISE | Brooke Holm - Sand Sea ArtworkBrooke Holm's 'Sand Sea' series

What facets of nature and the environment inspire you?
My happiest and most vivid memories often involve being immersed in the natural environment. Something as subtle as the smell of pine trees or the feel of grass underfoot, or the sound of a trickling creek can trigger a deep emotional response for me. When I am working, a place will engage all of my senses. I am a very kinesthetic, emotional person - sensitive to touch, sounds, smells, sight. Even though the work ends up purely visual in its final presentation, for me it invokes the sensory experience of a place in its entirety. The power of that is inspiring. I have a deep respect for the force of nature. We are so small and insignificant in comparison, we don’t have dominion, not really. We are just visitors here, and so far we are leaving it worse than we found it.

  

ISE | Brooke Holm - Sea Lake IIIBrooke Holm's 'Sea Lake' series

Does your love for nature blend into other areas of your life?
Absolutely. We are not separate from nature, as much as we try to make ourselves believe this. We are connected, nature is within us, nature isus. Subconsciously, many decisions I make are directly related to space and environment. Living in one of the largest concrete cities in the world, the pull towards the natural world is even stronger, and it feels more special when you finally get to have that time immersed in it. My inside world is adorned with photographs of landscapes, artwork of the moon, plants, books on art, nature, science-fiction, geography, poetry and outer space, candles that smell like the forest etc. I invite as much of the outside into my inside space as is possible. Except the cockroaches, they can stay outside! Please and thank you.

 

ISE | Brooke Holm - Mineral Matter VIIIBrooke Holm's 'Mineral Matter' series

What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability is the conservation and protection of our home. It’s an active participation in finding solutions. We are all a part of the problem, that cannot be avoided. There is no human on this planet that isn’t guilty of contributing to climate change, not by choice but by default. It’s easy to slip into a mindset that absolves you of responsibility if you feel it isn’t your fault. But I ask myself what I can do about it, regardless of how small. Where can I make a difference with this gift of communication I have found? There is no perfect solution, but storytelling is powerful. Humans respond to stories and share stories. Through photography, I am a part of documenting our story. I don’t know what will happen, or how much it matters but it feels important to participate.

 

ISE | Brooke Holm - Sea Lake IBrooke Holm's 'Sea Lake' series

What is the biggest change you want to see in the world?
I would like to see an urgent and more serious push in the direction of sustainability and conservation of our planet. Governments need to be taking the climate crisis much more seriously. Writing this in the midst of a pandemic, it is an awful but truthful reminder of how powerful nature can be. About how truly powerless we are when nature wants its way. A virus, a deadly and invisible force, can stop us in our tracks. Climate change might be happening slower, but it will have devastating consequences nonetheless, and on a scale much larger than the threat we are currently facing. It’s a good time to really sit with the truth and take actual responsibility on a global scale. We need compassion to prevail, to look after one another. Whether that happens or not remains to be decided but we have to try.

 

ISE | Brooke Holm - Arctic Raudfjorden IIBrooke Holm's 'Arctic' series

What’s next for you?
Right now, while the world is on pause, I am taking the time to reflect, research, read, paint, make photography selections and edits, write, make music and rest. All of this will materialize and manifest into something down the track. I don’t know what the future holds so I try not to plan it. Right now, I am riding the tide and taking each day at a time.

     

    brookeholm.com
    @brookeholm

     

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