Artistic take on icy continent
Scott, Amundsen, and Shackleton - the names are synonymous with Antarctic exploration, but are now doubling as inspiration for southern artists.
The explorers' stories have been given the artistic treatment in Antarctic Dreaming, a collaborative exhibition by ceramics artist Irene Schroder and digital montage artist Ramonda Te Maiharoa.
The exhibition is the end product of a 28-day sea journey to the Ross Sea and Antarctica, made by the two childhood friends last year.
Schroder, whose family was involved in the early expeditions to Antarctica, said her work had been especially inspired by the continent's history.
Seeing the inside of Shackleton's preserved hut while on the voyage and witnessing how the explorers had lived was a moving experience, she said. "You walk in and you feel they're still there."
Schroder has spent the past year translating these Antarctic experiences into artistic records of the historical events and personalities involved in the early rush to the South Pole.
She describes her ceramic works as clay stories.
A lot of research has gone into the series, with each clay story meticulously researched, planned and conceptualised before it is placed in the kiln.
"Sometimes I think and I think and I think, and I draw and I draw," she said. "I think I've got just about every book on Antarctica."
Schroder has also created clay depictions of the many penguins spotted on the journey, and the reverse of some works feature glazed impressions of the aurora australis.
Te Maiharoa, who lives in Newcastle, Australia, has pieced together a variety of digital montages from photographs taken during last year's voyage.
The montages combine a range of images, such as conservation workers in the Subantarctic Islands, penguins, and icebergs, into visual reflections of the trip.
Antarctic Dreaming was open to the public last week at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery. It will also be shown on Stewart Island in February, in recognition of the four Islanders who were drafted into one of the early Antarctic expeditions to replace deserters, Ms Schroder said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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