Peter Geraerts (b.1965) is an English photographer and environmentalist, whose work discusses our precious natural landscape, our impact on the planet, our interaction and view of the natural environment alongside the positive benefits of the wilderness on our wellbeing. Inspired as a boy by the pioneering explorers Franklin, Scott & Amundsen, childhood stories of adventure and exploration left a deep impression on Geraerts who has gone on to explore, first hand, the wilderness of some of the more remote parts of our planet. Despite seeing evidence of retreating sea ice and tonnes of plastic getting into the food chain, Geraerts chose instead to try and provoke change by focusing solely on the raw beauty of the wilderness at the planet’s fringes.
Nonetheless his 2019 collection ‘On The Edge’ published at the Royal Geographical Society’s inaugural Wilderness Art Collective Exhibition exposes an unsettling truth about the damage we are doing to the fringes of the planet’s last remaining truly wild places.
“My most recent trip to the Arctic was deeply unsettling; it brought into sharp focus the profound damage we are doing to our environment. The beauty in our planet is surely worth fighting for. Together we ought to do far more to protect the beauty of the last truly wild places on our planet before they are lost forever. We can all play a role on a day to day basis including using energy more wisely and minimising our use of plastic.” Peter Geraerts
“Geraerts’ work inspires us to re-engage with the natural landscape by juxtaposing the raw beauty of our planet against a stark reminder of the damage we are doing to our environment. In his studies of icebergs you can almost feel the silence and isolation of the wilderness that Sir Ernest Shackleton would have experienced in the early 20th century. When I look at Geraerts’s photographs I am humbled by the sheer scale of these landscapes and powerfully immersed in their folds. With no apparent man-made imprints on these vast majestic landscapes, we are lulled into a false pleasure at the beauty of our planet without the sense of impending catastrophe that inaction on climate change will cause.” Luke Whitaker, Bosham Gallery