Our Creative Director, Jeffrey Bowman, shares the behind the scenes tale from our latest film, Nyfiken, set against remote Sweden landscapes.
Words by Jeffrey Bowman | Photography by James Bowden
As we checked the map one last time we walked on, weaving and stumbling our way through the marshy Swedish landscape – no path, just a sure sense of direction hiking to the tune of Emil’s excitement, stopping along the way to collect and eat a sea of cloudberries.
Cresting a hill emerged a huge wooden prism, it should’ve looked out of place – a giant geometric structure. Instead, it looked of nature, of purpose, of time, at home. Built by the Sami people of northern Sweden, Emil enthused.
It was the middle of nowhere, overlooking a landscape where time had no place. A never-ending stillness existed. As we sat, we talked, not ponderous or philosophical, but about the everyday.
We shared coffee and a packet of pasta heated by the firewood left by others. Socks drying on sticks arranged around the fire. The wind whipped the fabric of our clothes. I wriggled my wet toes trying to heat them up.
We arrived at Happy Camp – 2 cabins with a vague sense of modern life and our home for 3 days – the day before we hiked to the Sami hut. Emil translated the Swedish signpost for us when we first arrived ‘happy camp’, he didn’t really need to as we felt it instantly.
This is where you’d normally expect an overly romantic tale of adventure, disconnected, no wifi, no electric, basically back to basics… and you’d be right, it was the middle of nowhere Sweden after all. But our trip wasn’t about our experiences, this was about Emil. It was the first time I’d travelled to a person, not a destination.
Over those few days Emil’s landscape emerged, he shared stories shaped by a life of curiosity and adventure. At some point in his life, he’d discovered a waterfall on a family hike, with a vivid enthusiasm he told us about his experience there, how it changed his life, and how he’s still searching for that waterfall.
Stirring cloudberries in a pan, Emil made jam, handing each of us a pot to take back to England. I hoped that it was more than just jam, that part of his spirit was sealed in there. It’s still in my fridge, forever un-opened – a reminder to stay curious, to live a little more like Emil, to live a little more like me.