There are still wild places out there on our over-crowded planet. Through a series of personal journeys, Dan Richards explores their romantic and exploratory appeal. Wildernesses, seemingly untouched by man’s hand: mountains, tundra, forests, oceans and deserts. These are landscapes that speak of deep time, whose scale can knock us down to size. Their wildness is part of their beauty and such places have long drawn the adventurous, the spiritual, the artistic.
For those who go in search of the isolation, silence and adventure of wild places it is – perhaps ironically – to the man-made shelters that they need to head; the outposts: bothies, bivouacs, cabins and huts. Part of their allure is their simplicity: enough architecture to shelter from the weather but not so much as to distract from the immediate environment around.
Following a route from the Cairngorms of Scotland to the fire-watching huts of Washington State, from Iceland’s Houses of Joy to the desert of New Mexico, and from the frozen beauty of Svalbard to a lighthouse perched in the Atlantic, Richards uncovers landscapes which have inspired writers, artists and musicians, and asks: why are we drawn to wilderness? And how do wild places become a space for inspiration and creativity?