/15 Mountains

Laurie Griffiths

The Last Run

‘The Cryosphere’ is the term used to describe the entirety of all the frozen surfaces of the earth: sea ice, glaciers, frozen lakes and rivers – places whose very existence is linked to the transient mutability of water. The term suggests the dependence of these regions on a cyclical process that is itself directly linked to the state of the global climate and the world we inhabit. Cryosphere is also the title of Laurie Griffiths’ long term photographic study of man’s enduring attraction to some of the most inhospitable and inaccessible areas on Earth. Timeless, awesome and mythical places that have become subject to the effects of localised commercialisation and commoditisation in the context of the growing impact of climate change. This selection of pictures serve as a preview to the forthcoming publication of the The Last Run – Griffiths’ photographic exploration of how man has colonised these vast, frozen spaces in pursuit of leisure and the search for personal challenge. Shot around the alpine capital of Chamonix-Mont Blanc during 2011, 2012 and 2013 Griffiths has pictured landscapes that, while they seem to represent nature at its most pure and wild, are defined by the conspicuous presence of man and his technology. These pictures convey the fragile relationship and ultimate struggle between this landscape and those who honour the natural grandeur of these expanses and yet who are complicit in its demise.