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Ice Houses


November 1, 2009

For several years, I worked on a project photographing ice fishing shacks in the lakes region of Maine and New Hampshire. I’m interested in these “bobhouses” for the way that they illustrate a primal narrative whose elements are simply shelter, food, warmth, and an ongoing battle against the caprices of nature. They are entirely utilitarian in their purpose, using lightweight windproof materials such as foam insulation sheet metal, plastic, or wood, yet put together in surprisingly ingenious ways, appearing as crude minimalist sculpture. I prefer to photograph on milky days in rain, fog, and snow, when the light is filtered and the range of color is extremely narrow. This makes the shacks seem all the more mysterious, as if they have been airlifted onto the scene, opening up the narrative rather than confining it to a documentary study of vernacular architecture.

Scott Peterman’s work has been shown at the Tate Modern, London; The 10th Annual Architecture Exhibit, Venice; The Baltimore Museum of Art; The Portland Museum of Art; The Decordova Museum; and many commercial galleries. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, GQ, Vanity Fair, Men’s Journal, Newsweek, CN Portfolio, Forbes, Fortune, Nest, Harpers, and Fastcompany, among others. Peterman’s first monograph was published in 2006 by Channel Photographics, and was featured by PDN as one of the best Photo Books of 2006.

This slideshow was selected by contributing art editor Tara Jepson.

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2 comments for Ice Houses

  1. Comment by Ed on December 1, 2009 at 9:16 am

    These photos are magnificent – I wish I could have seen them in London. The shots show the strength won by a photographer who has persevered with a subject for a very long time.

  2. Comment by Pikavipit on September 4, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Wow, beautiful and minimalist photos. very icy atmosphere,

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