For the Fall Winter 2020 collection Treehugger: Tales of the Forest, PHIPPS collaborated with Swedish photographer Linda Westin to create a unique print. The result, a dreamscape of a dense, highly saturated forest, was printed onto a cupro satin shirt- a fluttery, low-impact textile that emulates satin.

Westin became a Ph.D. researcher in neuroscience specialized in fluorescence microscopy before turning her gaze to forests, rocks, plants, and stars. Using methods she developed in her field, she adds light to dark images, enhancing their structure and creating new possibilities; presenting tree canopies as fluorescent neuronal dendrites in visionary landscapes.

A first glance of the image offers up a thousand details to the viewer, inviting and luring them into its unknown. The mysterious bright light emanating from the center, hidden by the trunk of the tallest tree, appears to grow out of nothing- like a portal, or a threshold between our world and another.

We are still in a state of constant flux between opening and closing, reopening and shutting down- never before has travel- or movement- been so accessible, but especially now, it has also never been so impossible. Where would you wish yourself to, if you could step into Westin’s luxuriant picture, into its bright phosphorescence, and wish yourself to another place?

Here are few of our ideas. You will not find the azure waters of the Caribbean, the familiar peaks of the Alps, but precise and surreal locations, inspired by Westin’s highly specific and personal photographic language.
Meoto Iwa, Futami, Japan

Far from Japan’s bustling metropolises, Meoto Iwa, or the Married Couple Rocks, are two sacred rocks in the sea near Futami, a small town in the North Eastern coast. They are joined by a shimenawa, a heavy rope of rice straw which acts as the division between the spiritual and earthly realms, and are considered sacred by worshippers at the neighboring Futami Okitama Shrine. The rope, which weighs over a ton, must be replaced three times a year in a shintô ceremony.

At dawn during the summer, the sun appears to rise between the two rocks. On a cloudless day, Mount Fuji is visible in the distance.
Kaymakli, Cappadocia, Turkey

This popular region in Turkey boasts countless man-made and natural wonders. These troglodyte caves are both- as the story goes, 780 and 1180, persecuted Christians flocked to this area to escape the Arab-Byzantine Wars. While the ‘fairy chimneys’, the exaggeratedly pointed peaks of the hilly environs, were already a naturally occurring part of the landscape- a result of geological process that began millions of years ago- the soft rock they were made of proved an excellent building material. However, some trace these back to 2000BC- excavated by the Hittites, and expanded over the centuries.

There are over 36 underground cities in Cappadocia. Current inhabitants of the region still use the most convenient places in the tunnels as cellars, storage areas and stables, which they can access through their courtyards.
Lake Hillier, Queensland, Australia

This lake, located on an Island off the South Western Australian coast, does perhaps resemble a postcard image- its impossibly bright pink waters lay in stark contrast with its surrounding green forest, and neighbouring deep blue Pacific ocean.

Its unique color is thought to be due to the presence of the Dunaliella salina microalgae. The Dunaliella produces carotenoids, a pigment found in carrots. Though it is safe to swim in, it is impossible to visit as it is in a protected natural reserve.
Isle of Staffa, Hebrides, Scotland

Another island destination, though somewhat less obviously enticing, Scotland’s Isle of Staffa epitomises one of the many spectacular rock formations native to the United Kingdom’s Northernmost constituant. Its towering volcanic basalt rock columns are home to hundreds of species of birds- black guillemots, fulmars, and puffins- as well as Fingal’s Cave, which inspired composers and writers alike.
Meteora, Thessaloniki, Greece

Greece invokes images of crystal clear water and sandy beaches, whitewashed villas and ancient temples. This clifftop monastery in the mountainous regions of Kalabaka is off the beaten path, but well worth a vertiginous ascent to its fourteenth century structure. For hundreds of years, it has been a refuge to monks and hermits worldwide, and it is still home for a small number of them today.
Biblioteca del Sol, Sierra Nevada, Spain

Underground destinations (quite literally) form an important part of this non-exhaustive list- though this one was not built by ancient civilisations or religious servants but by a Belgian Artist, in 2010. It was intended as an ark which would protect human knowledge for future generations, based on the scientific model of the seed bank. It took two years to achieve, and now holds more than 7000 vacuum-packed books. Instead of being buried since its completion, it continues to gather around it an impressive community of cultural and creative leaders.

The Biblioteca del Sol is not only interesting as a building in itself, but as a symbol- an ambitious project of sustainable methods and human preservation.
Baikal Lake, Siberia, Russia

Russia’s Baikal Lake is the oldest, and the deepest lake in the world. It accounts for 20% of the world’s fresh water resources, and when it is melted in high summer, one can see into its depths for up to 39 meters down.
If this is not enough to stir one’s curiosity, its properties only multiply in winter: as it is fresh water, it freezes to be perfectly clear, creating a fantastical landscape of emerald ice blocks, reaching upwards like shards of glass.
Gereja Ayam, Central Java, Indonesia

This is perhaps the strangest and most amusing of them all- not a city, or a town, but a ruin: Gereja Ayam is a now-abandoned prayer house on the island of Java, in Indonesia. Its particularity lies in its shape: it was built to resemble a dove, but visitors gave it the nickname of Chicken Church, which is how it became known over time.

It came under construction in the 90’s after a man named Daniel Alamsjah claimed to have been inspired by God to build a prayer house. Although Alamsjah is a Christian, he imagined Gereja Ayam as a non-denominational place of worship.
Due to financial difficulties and local opposition, the construction was never finished, and had since been left to deteriorate until recently, when an influx of tourists has given it new life as a shelter.
Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile

Lake Baikal reaches lower than any other lake on earth, and these peaks are among the highest in the world: the ranges in Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile climb up to 2,884 meters. However, it is the park’s heterogeneous landscape which draws visitors from all over the globe- mountains meet glaciers, valleys, lakes, and plains. It is also home to a rare species of camelid named the guanaco, which closely resembles the llama.
Caño Cristales, Serranía de la Macarena, Colombia

To top off this list, we’ve circled back to the image which inspired us to make it in the first place- something resembling an otherworldly portal, a glimpse into another reality: the magical-looking Caño Cristales, a multicolored lake in Colombia. Often nicknamed the Rainbow River, its bright hues of yellow, green, blue, black and red are due to a unique phenomena: a red plant, Macarenia clavigera, growing on the riverbed.

Linda Westin’s photographs of nature at night are enigmatic, mysterious, but never frightening. They convey a strange and meditative energy, a glimpse into the unknown and the unknowable; a paradise lost. When we can only imagine these places through our screens, at a time when movement is lost but change is unrelenting, it may be useful to remind ourselves of the rest of the world, and to preserve it, and to preserve ourselves.