Association of Polar Early Career Scientists

 

© Ricardo Matias, Jukes Liu, Linde van Bets, Henrik Christiansen, Quentin Jossart (left to right)

Since September Polar Week 2019, we have been showcasing a selection of artists working across a variety of media and focusing on polar regions in their work. Through their interviews, we discussed where Polar artists draw their inspiration, which media best captures the stunning and complex landscapes of the Arctic and Antarctic, and the themes that pop up throughout their interaction with polar regions. We also discussed engagement between polar researchers and art. 

Polar Art: Acid rain, electronic music in Antarctica

Artist: Rafael Cheuquelaf

Web: www.lluviaacida.cl

 

"Lluvia acida is an electronic band from the city of Punta Arenas, they had performed three times in Antarctica. In their prolific career they have been inspired by Antarctica in their songs and albums.

You can know more about their work on their web page www.lluviaacida.cl"

 

168 Lluvia Acida Polar Art Blog September 2020 

 

¿Cuál es el medio que empleas para tus expresiones artísticas? Por qué lo has elegido? (What is your professional art form?)

Soy parte de un dúo de música electrónica llamado LLUVIA ÁCIDA. Junto a mi amigo Héctor Aguilar llevamos 25 años componiendo, publicando discos y realizando conciertos, tanto en Magallanes, la región que habitamos, como en otras ciudades de Chile. También hemos podido presentarnos en Argentina y los Estados Unidos. Combino eso con el Cine Digital, ya que soy autor de gran parte del material audiovisual que utilizamos, tanto para nuestras actuaciones como para videoclips y documentales. Creo que esa combinación nos da fuerza y sustancia como proyecto musical, considerando que nuestro tema no es la Metrópoli ni lo Virtual, sino la Frontera entre la Naturaleza y la Civilización.

 

¿Como y porque decidiste enfocar tu trabajo artístico en las regiones polares? (How and why you ended up with polar regions in your art? What was the triggering point?)s?

El nacer y vivir en Punta Arenas (Chile), una de las ciudades más cercanas a la Antártica, hace que la temática polar nos resulte muy cercana. Crecimos escuchando y leyendo historias sobre los intrépidos exploradores que estuvieron en nuestra ciudad y que se atrevieron a penetrar en el lugar más hostil para la vida humana en el planeta. Y sentimos una genuina fascinación por los temas que allí se investigan y que son importantes tanto para entender el pasado del planeta como su probable futuro. Con LLUVIA ÁCIDA nuestra primera aproximación fue un disco llamado “ANTARTIKOS” (Eolo, 2005), un trabajo que contó con el apoyo del Instituto Antártico Chileno (INACH) y que narra mediante temas cantados e instrumentales la historia del continente blanco. Logramos presentarlo en vivo en la base “Eduardo Frei Montalva” (Isla Rey Jorge, Shetlands del Sur, 2007), ante un público compuesto por chilenos, chinos y uruguayos. Años después musicalizamos el documental “EL CONTINENTE DE LA LUZ” (2012), que edité en conjunto con INACH. Ahí surgió la inquietud de volver a la Antártica, pero esta vez haciendo el ejercicio inverso a “ANTARTIKOS”: ir primero a grabar sonidos e imágenes en terreno en Isla Rey Jorge y luego componer música y editar una película en base a ese material. El resultado fue el disco y película “INSULA IN ALBIS” (Eolo – Pueblo Nuevo, 2013), obra que fue presentada en vivo en la celebración del Cincuentenario de INACH. Pudimos presentarla en Chile, en el Festival “FUGA INDUSTRIAL” de Buenos Aires (2014) y en el Stamps Auditorium de la Universidad de Michigan (EE.UU., 2015). En 2016 decidimos conmemorar los 100 Años del rescate de la Expedición Transantártica Imperial de Sir Ernest Shackleton, para resultar algo que en la historiografía anglosajona no suele ser demasiado destacado: el papel del chileno Luis Pardo Villalón, que junto a una tripulación de voluntarios en una pequeña nave que ni siquiera tenía radio, calefacción ni electricidad, logró llegar a Isla Elefante y realizar un rescate al borde de lo imposible. El último concierto de esa gira lo realizamos en 2017 en la Plaza Sotomayor de Valparaíso, precisamente donde el pueblo chileno salió a las calles a homenajear a estos héroes antárticos. Nuestro último trabajo relacionado con la Antártica es “CIENCIA SUR” (Eolo – Pueblo Nuevo, 2017), una especie de homenaje a los investigadores que se internan en los parajes polares y patagónicos para investigar temas que son cruciales para nuestro propio destino. Lo compusimos especialmente para abrir el IX Congreso Latinoamericano de Ciencia Antártica, realizado en Punta Arenas y pudimos presentarlo en diversos eventos relacionados con Educación y Ciencia.

 

169 Lluvia Acida Polar Art Blog September 2020 

 

Cuáles son las temáticas polares y/o imágenes en las que centras tu trabajo? (What are the main polar themes you generally focus on?)

Creo que lo que nos atrae de la Antártica en general es el contraste entre la inmensidad de los entornos con el increíble esfuerzo humano que supone solo el estar allí. En nuestra música se combinan sonidos provenientes de sintetizadores con grabaciones hechas en terreno. Hemos podido grabar fauna, telecomunicaciones, máquinas y personas trabajando. Y las imágenes con las que acompañamos las actuaciones muestran tanto entornos poco intervenidos de la Isla Rey Jorge como la presencia humana como las bases y el intenso movimiento que las caracteriza durante el verano antártico. Lo que nos interesa es mostrar la Antártica como el territorio especial que es, no solo en un sentido paisajístico sino también en lo humano, como un lugar en donde se vive en una forma muy distinta a la del resto del planeta. Allí la cooperación y el respeto son imprescindibles para la sobrevivencia. Lo que expresamos mediante el arte es que un mundo más antártico sería de verdad un mundo mejor.

 

¿Has realizado exhibiciones de tu trabajo en persona o en línea recientemente, o estas preparándote para alguna exhibición? Donde y cuando? (Have you ever shared your work with an audience, as in-person or online exhibition? What was the most interesting reaction to your art?)

Durante este periodo de pandemia hemos estado recluidos en nuestros domicilios, pero muy activos en las redes sociales. Grabamos a distancia un disco completo llamado “ANTIVIRAL” (https://youtu.be/CxrOmkGNFBo), una especie de testimonio sonoro de como hemos percibido esta situación que ha alterado la vida a nivel global. Recién en el mes de Junio nos reunimos nuevamente en persona y grabamos una improvisación en el mismo muelle en donde desembarcaron finalmente Shackleton y su tripulación rescatada por el Piloto Luis Pardo (https://youtu.be/2Dquv6n-gLI). También hemos estado compartiendo a través de Facebook nuestras películas “LA RUTA DE ANTARTIKOS” (https://youtu.be/WCsj6Bon-zQ), “INSULA IN ALBIS” (https://youtu.be/iq6nI7QR04E), “EL CONTINENTE DE LA LUZ” (https://youtu.be/osFcQTimXiY), “EN EL CORAZÓN DE LOS HIELOS” (https://youtu.be/lkapSSIIJxE) y “CIENCIA SUR” (https://youtu.be/8u3PR7WJ4fg). Nuestro proyecto postpandemia es la presentación de un disco ya grabado, llamado “ARCHIPIÉLAGO COLOANE”, dedicado al escritor chileno Francisco Coloane. Él fue el hombre que puso a la Patagonia y a los chilenos en la Antártica en la literatura mundial y lo consideramos una de nuestras influencias estéticas más importantes.

 

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¿Tienes algún consejo para investigadores y científicos polares que tengan interés en incorporar arte para compartir y publicar los resultados de sus trabajos de investigación? (What would be your advice to the polar enthusiasts & researchers who like to use art as a tool to share their research?)

Creo que el Arte y la Ciencia se pueden complementar maravillosamente. Aún así, tengo la sensación que son más los artistas que sienten curiosidad por temas científicos que los científicos que se acercan al arte. Algo que posiblemente tiene que ver con la formación y con la hiperespecialización. Pero afortunadamente es algo que está cambiando, pues el mundo de la Ciencia está reconociendo cada vez más el valor del Arte para explicar, comunicar y experimentar con ideas y conceptos. Sobre todo a la hora de dar a conocer aspectos del mundo natural a un público no familiarizado con ellos. Yo le diría a los investigadores que hay muchos artistas que estarían encantados de colaborar con ellos, para darle una forma tangible y potencia emotiva a sus hallazgos. Los datos pueden transformarse en sonidos, los objetos y lugares de estudio en imágenes y las anatomías de seres vivos en diseños gráficos y esculturas. De ese tipo de cooperación solo pueden surgir cosas buenas e interesantes y ejemplos de eso hay muchos.

 

171 Lluvia Acida Polar Art Blog September 2020

 

¿Cuáles son las reacciones del público más frecuentes cuando ven tu trabajo artístico? (What are the most common reactions of the public when they see your work?)

La recepción hacia nuestro trabajo antártico en general ha sido buena.  Ya nuestro primer recital en la Base “Eduardo Frei Montalva” (2007) fue considerado a nivel de prensa como un hito. Y el segundo, la presentación de “INSULA IN ALBIS” (2014) en la misma base, nos puso como la única banda en el mundo que ha realizado dos actuaciones en el continente. Mediante nuestros discos y películas hemos logrado difundir la temática antártica a un público que no suele tener contacto con ella. Y así ayudamos a despertar una inquietud, para que la gente tome conciencia que existe un continente en el cual se han desarrollado grandes historias. Y del cual dependen muchas cosas que influyen en nuestra propia vida y a nivel global, como el clima, las corrientes marítimas y los recursos pesqueros.

 

En tu opinión, ¿cuales son los desafíos más grandes que enfrentan las regiones polares en la actualidad? (In your opinion, what are the challenges being faced in the polar regions?)

Las zonas polares y las que las rodean sin duda tienen problemáticas comunes. Por una parte, la dificultad de encontrar un equilibrio entre la explotación de los recursos naturales que sostienen a nuestras sociedades y la imperiosa necesidad de preservar los ecosistemas, que son vitales para la existencia de la vida en el planeta. Las zonas polares son vulnerables a la contaminación por hidrocarburos y microplásticos. Pero, por sobre todo, al impacto del Cambio Climático, que se ha traducido en el incremento de la fusión de grandes masas de hielo, en la acidificación de los océanos y en la desaparición de grandes comunidades de aves, mamíferos, peces y crustáceos. Esto nos plantea el gran desafío de como organizarnos para frenar o aminorar estos impactos. Lo primero es la creación de conciencia sobre estas problemáticas, para lograr que estos temas no sean solo preocupación de una minoría informada sino que de la sociedad en su conjunto. Solo así la gente, que siempre ha tenido el poder de cambiar cosas, podrá exigir a las clases dirigentes que dejen el cortoplacismo que las caracteriza, que escuche a la Ciencia y que  de verdad vele por la continuidad de la vida sobre este planeta. Y las naciones polares deberían dar el ejemplo al resto del mundo. Ya se tiene una organización muy importante en torno al Tratado Antártico. Ahora, cuando se está ante una amenaza existencial, el ideario y los valores que este acuerdo representa deben ser una luz para el resto del planeta. Y en esto siento que el Arte tiene un gran papel social que cumplir.

 

Tienes un colega artista (polar o no) favorito? (Do you have a favourite collegue or artist?)

Siempre he tenido curiosidad por lo que se ha hecho en materia artística en relación en relación a los territorios polares. Ya sea desde la literatura de ficción (Poe, Verne, Lovecraft, música (desde Ralph Vaughan Williams a Vangelis y Dj’ Spooky) y el registro fílmico de las expediciones de la “Era Heroica” (Frank Hurley). En expresiones más contemporáneos, valoro el trabajo de la artista medial magallánica Alejandra Pérez, que ha estado el territorio grabando sonidos de diversa procedencia y ha mostrado su trabajo mediante la instalación “Hackeando Antártica” (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago de Chile, 2019). Además, creo que es importante señalar que durante dos años funcionó el denominado “PROYECTO A”, que llevó a artistas chilenos al continente. Entre ellos grandes talentos magallánicos como la orfebre Marcela Alcaíno, el fotógrafo Cristian Cvitanic y los artistas plásticos Andrea Araneda y Mauricio Valencia. También destaco al compositor magallánico Sergio Pérez Bontes, con su obra “Artantandes”.

 

Por favor, déjanos tu sitio web y tus contactos de las redes sociales para que los podamos compartir con nuestro público. Muchas gracias por tu participación! (Many thanks for participating! Please leave us your web site and/or social media links)

 

Todos nuestros discos y películas relacionadas con la Antártica pueden encontrarse a través de nuestro sitio web www.lluviaacida.cl, así también como en el sitio del sello Pueblo Nuevo (www.pueblonuevo.cl) y en los portales You Tube y Vimeo.

 

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© All pictures created by Lluvia Acida

 

Polar Art: Illustration in Art

Artist: Elise Imbeau

Instagram: @eliimbeau

Facebook: @Eli.Imbeau.Illustration

 

She was born an artist and critters catcher. The many dubious pottery and drawings on the walls of her parents' house as well as the anecdotes of snakes and frogs that escaped from her terrariums can attest to this.

Catching birds and counting salamanders as part of her university studies in Biology in Sherbrooke (Qc) was only the logical continuation of her passion for the living world.

The artist in her woke up again through scientific communication during her master's project in Chicoutimi (UQAC). Her studies on the boreal and arctic lake ice made me discover an exhilarating world, the Arctic, which she instantly falls in love with.

Pursuing my passions, she now lives in Ikaluktutiak (Cambridge Bay), Nunavut, where she combines the worlds of science and art in a land of breathtaking beauty!

 

What is your professional art form?

I have always liked to explore and try several art forms, but my main professional ones are graphic design and handmade jewelry. My projects are widely diverse, from science outreach material and paper figures, educational and cultural material, company seals, landscapes drawings, personal orders like portraits from photos of loved ones (including 4-legged little friends), to stationery (just because I am in love with colors and paper material... I can’t explain it, but it makes me so happy!).

 

161 Elise Imbeau Polar Art Blog September 2020 

 

How and why you ended up with polar regions in your art? What was the triggering point?

Artist in my heart since I was a mini human, I made my studies in science, keeping art as a hobby during these years of formation, until both worlds met. During my master's degree on boreal and arctic lake ice (UQAC), my supervisor Milla Rautio once asked me to create outreach posters for projects that she wanted to present to members of the community of Ikaluktutiak (Cambridge Bay, NU). That was a hard work! I wanted to find the perfect illustrations that would represent the projects, without the need of any other text than titles. I selected bland pastel colors that I thought correspond to the magic of the arctic, looked for traditional clothing and accessories to be sure to well represent the region and even looked at Inuit traditional art to get inspired. At the end, my work was really well received! That is when I realized how important it is for science to be communicated in visual ways. I started to draw material for all of my further presentations and I just stuck to arctic illustrations. I used every sampling trip as an opportunity to bring back pictures to draw later and now, I live here, in Ikaluktutiak and the land keeps inspire me every day.

 

What are the main polar themes you generally focus on?

I am passionate about the living world and it is well reflected in my art! Living organisms are recurrent in my illustrations, from large mammals to zooplankton and lichen. Life is wonderful and I love to be inspired and use the treasures that nature offers us.

 

162 Elise Imbeau Polar Art Blog September 2020 

 

Have you ever shared your work with an audience, as in-person or online exhibition?

My outreach projects were share with the community and science material for presentations and papers mainly reached scientists. I also do sell material online, that I share via my Instagram account (instagram.com/eliimbeau) and my Facebook page (@Eli.Imbeau.Illustration).

I recently focus full time in my art and with the actual Covid situation, it was hard to share in-person my material, but I can't wait for the moment when I will be able to show my creations! 

 

163 Elise Imbeau Polar Art Blog September 2020164 Elise Imbeau Polar Art Blog September 2020165 Elise Imbeau Polar Art Blog September 2020 

 

What was the most interesting reaction to your art?

I had such great reactions to a poster I presented at the 2018 Arctic Net annual conference. People were amazed by how well the message was clear and how pleasant was the reading. A few even mentioned how calming it was to look at my poster (that's the secret to bland pastel colors!). It was science work, but I still consider it art.

Another project that was way much more appreciated than I expected was a series of arctic animal coloring pages I shared for kids at home during the first weeks of isolation last winter. I was thinking about sharing 3 or 4 to the community and I ended up sharing over 15 in 4 different languages that were shared from Baffin Island to Alaska!

 

What is your opinion about the challenges being faced in the polar regions?

There is a lot happening. People see the differences on the land. There are drastic changes and it is hard to predict what will happen. As alarming as it is, I am glad to see that there is a marked interest and research effort in the northern regions as well as an increasing collaboration with traditional knowledge. It is important for everyone to do everything in our power to try to understand and find solutions and above all, not to be overwhelmed by the situation. We must stay positive and have hope in what can be done to try to lessen the consequences of these changes.

 

How did you benefit your art during the current pandemic?

I am really lucky to be here in Nunavut, as so far no cases have been detected in the whole territory. I am also lucky to be self-employed and to have been able to work on different contracts during this difficult time. I wasn’t able to present my work to the community because of social distancing measures, but I prepared material that I will be really happy to share in due times.

 

166 Elise Imbeau Polar Art Blog September 2020167 Elise Imbeau Polar Art Blog September 2020 

 

Do you have any person/figure that inspires you?

Every living world passionate I met, those with sparkles I the eyes, are inspiration for me! Studying in science allows you to meet a multitude of brilliant people who are passionate about even the smallest and strangest creatures ... it's great!

 

What would be your advice to the polar enthusiasts & researchers who like to use art as a tool to share their research?

Please do!! There are not enough people using art in science communication. We all know how boring, unfortunately, a presentation could be... even on a so exciting subject! The important thing is to use art to tell something, not just to make a presentation or a poster look good. This is where art might not be well received. Every illustration or art material need to help deliver the science content. Science communication is an art in itself and it's worth practicing!

© All pictures created by Elise Imbeau

Polar Art: Documentaries from North to South Pole

Artist: Burcu Camcıoğlu

Instagram: @burcucamcioglu

Web: www.burcucamcioglu.com

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Burcu Camcioglu was born in Artvin, a small town outside Istanbul, Turkey, in 1990. 

Currently, Burcu works and lives in Turkey. 

She worked as the DOP for a leading documentary channel, IZ TV, having more than 40 documentaries. She filmed in Chernobyl. She filmed in North and South Poles.

Nowadays she works as a freelance cinematographer. She shoots promos,commercials and documentaries.

 

What is your professional art form?

 I am a cinematographer in another saying a video artist who works on adjusting the images, light and composition in the best way to express the environment.

 

157 Burcu Camcıoğlu Polar Art Blog September 2020 

 

How and why you ended up with polar regions in your art? What was the triggering point?

The triggering point is very exciting. Turkish scientists have been organizing expeditions to Antarctica for the last 3 years, while science has been conducting research, but no scientific expedition has been organized for the Arctic. The adventure that carried me to the polar region for the first time, started with the scientific expedition to the North Pole for the first time in the history of Turkish scientists. Additionally, I set off towards 80th latitude with the team in order to record this historical expedition and show people the polar regions from my own eyes.

 

What are the main polar themes you generally focus on?

Global climate change is at the beginning of what I want to reflect to the audience in the polar regions, especially the whole world has been focusing on the polar region in recent years. Because the polar regions are the black box of our planet and earth's past, present and tomorrow are hidden in this laboratory.

 

158 Burcu Camcıoğlu Polar Art Blog September 2020 

 

Have you ever shared your work with an audience, as in-person or online exhibition?

Yes. One of my documentaries that I shot in Arctic ’’15 Days In The North’’ was released on one of the leading documentary channels in Turkey. And my new documentary that I shot in Antarctica ‘’Black Box of The Planet’’ is in the editing process. And it is waiting to meet with the audience again.

 

159 Burcu Camcıoğlu Polar Art Blog September 2020 

 

What is your opinion about the challenges being faced in the polar regions?


The cold is one of the simplest and most traditional answers, but I think the main challenge is that we mostly take actions with a list of shots planned to the finest detail, but plans never work in the polar regions. You are trying to adapt to the sudden changing of weather conditions in the polars and new plans resulting from this. This is the biggest challenge for videographers who have pre-designed every plan.

 

160 Burcu Camcıoğlu Polar Art Blog September 2020

 

How did you benefit your art during the current pandemic?

I found the time to write, to tell new stories, to get out of life for a while, to think.

 

Do you have any person/figure that inspires you?

There are two artists whose work I follow with pleasure about the polar regions, one is John Bozinov and the other is Benjamin Hardman.

 

What would be your advice to the polar enthusiasts & researchers who like to use art as a tool to share their research?

I suggest you let your feelings flow in polar regions' own rules.

© All pictures created by Burcu Camcıoğlu

Polar Art: The Crime Queen of Polar Regions

Artist: Dr. Monica Kristensen

We are not only welcoming a glaciologist, meteorologist, but also polar explorer and crime novelist. Kristensen had her Master in Polar Administration and PhD in Antarctic Glaciology from the University of Cambridge. She is also the author of many books, including Mot 90 Grader Syd (Towards 90 Degrees South) (1987).

Kristensen is particularly proud of the Founders Gold Medal for Antarctic Research given to her by the Royal Geographical Society in London. 

For more information about her: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monica_Kristensen_Sol%C3%A5s

 

What is your professional art form?

I am a scientist with degrees from Oslo and Tromsø Universities (Mathematics and Physics corresponding to Bachelor and Master/PhD) and University of Cambridge, UK (Master in Polar administration and PhD in Glaciology)

My art forms in Polar matters are literature, history and photography.

153 Monica Kristensen Polar Art Blog September 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How and why you ended up with polar regions in your art? What was the triggering point?

My interest in the Polar regions, its nature, people and history is the trigger point.

 

What are the main polar themes you generally focus on?

I write documentary books about polar mysteries (What is the background to the mining accident in Kings Bay in 1962, What happened to Roald Amundsen and the other French, Italian and Norwegian men that disappeared in 1928). I also write crime fiction about mysteries in the small towns and research stations in the Polar regions.

 

154 Monica Kristensen Polar Art Blog September 2020

Have you ever shared your work with an audience, as in-person or online exhibition?

My books are translated into many languages. I travel a lot. I give lectures in various languages. I am also interviewed in radio and television, and films.

What was the most interesting reaction to your art?

When I travelled in Italy and Switzerland, I gave many lectures about the cooperation between Roald Amundsen and Umberto Nobile to big audiences. The Italians were very interested and moved by my stories about the airship Italia and her fate. Some of the people started crying, because they had heard so little about these topics.

 

155 Monica Kristensen Polar Art Blog September 2020

 

What is your opinion about the challenges being faced in the polar regions?

In my view, mass tourism is a threat to the polar environment. The polar regions are lonely places and the birds, animals and sea creatures are used to the peace and quiet. They are all greatly disturbed by the invasions from the cruise ships. I think that regulations must be put in place.

The environmental and climate change problems concern the whole planet, but of course, also the polar regions. It is a much more difficult problem to solve. However, some things can be done: Forbid the use of plastics, in particular single-use plastics!

How did you benefit your art during the current pandemic?

My work as a writer is a lonely one. I can´t say I was inspired by the onset of the pandemic. I have been hindered by the restricted access to the various archives and libraries. But this will also pass.

 

156 Monica Kristensen Polar Art Blog September 2020

 

Do you have any person/figure that inspires you?

It is a bit of a cliché, I suppose, but the Norwegian academic and polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen inspires me. In particular his book In Northern Mists from 1911. He is always so clearheaded!

What would be your advice to the polar enthusiasts & researchers who like to use art as a tool to share their research?

I would like to encourage any scientist who would also try an art form as communication. This can only be good. So, my advice is: Go for it!

© All pictures created by Monica Kristensen

Polar Art: From Punta Arenas, Chilean Gateway to Antarctica

Artist: Andrea Araneda

Instagram: @aranedapaz @artcornershop

"Andrea works and lives in Punta Arenas one of the five Antarctic Gateway cities. She has done extensive work about the original people that inhabit the south of America, work with the Chilean Antarctic program and in 2012 travel to Antarctica for an Art in residence program. She also painted from old photographs of Chileans that work on Antarctic bases between 1948 and 1957.

You can see more about her work at her Instagram account @aranedapaz"

 

147 Andrea Araneda Polar Art Blog September 2020

¿Cuál es el medio que empleas para tus expresiones artísticas? Por qué lo has elegido? (What is your professional art form?)

Soy licenciada en Artes Plásticas de la U. de Chile, con mención en pintura. Además realicé un curso bienal de Artes Gráficas, en el instituto de Porta Romana, en Florencia, Italia.

Para desarrollar mi producción artística, utilizo diferentes técnicas pero la más recurrente es la pintura y al mismo tiempo es la que más dificultades me presenta.

¿Como y porque decidiste enfocar tu trabajo artístico en las regiones polares? (How and why you ended up with polar regions in your art? What was the triggering point?)

Nací en Punta Arenas y si bien he vivido fuera de la región en distintos momentos de mi vida, siempre he regresado. Magallanes es un punto del planeta muy atractivo e intenso: su ubicación en el mapa, el paisaje, su historia, y todo el universo que lo compone es una constante inspiración, que desde siempre ha estado presente en mi trabajo, tanto  en el ámbito creativo como en la educación. Otro factor que influye en la decisión de instalar la sede de trabajo en este territorio, la constituye el tiempo ya que aquí se accede a una vida más pausada y a un ritmo propio de un lugar alejado de las grandes urbes.

Cuáles son las temáticas polares y/o imágenes en las que centras tu trabajo? (What are the main polar themes you generally focus on?)

Utilizo temáticas regionales para expresar lo que considero el eje de mi trabajo: el rescate de los errores y  la contradicción de la existencia.

148 Andrea Araneda Polar Art Blog September 2020Así en un primer momento investigué sobre las culturas indígenas y su cosmogonía, luego fue el paisaje, sobre todo los bosques y su analogía con la psiquis humana, más tarde me concentré en retratar a la gente común y corriente que habita esta región, el paisaje humano, y al mismo tiempo profundicé en el paisaje interno de los retratados, a través de preguntas que considero transversales a todos los seres humanos, como por ejemplo, su idea de felicidad, lo que piensan de la muerte o si mantienen alguna creencia espiritual, entre varias otras preguntas.

Por otra parte me ha tocado ser parte de algunas investigaciones realizadas por el Centro de Estudios Hemisféricos y Polares, para quienes pinté las dotaciones antárticas chilenas desde el año 1947 hasta el año 1958. Además, para esta institución, reinterpreté los monstruos marinos de los mapas de los antiguos navegantes.

Además he trabajado en torno a la reflexión sobre los 500 años de la primera circunnavegación en torno al globo, entre varios otros.

¿Has realizado exhibiciones de tu trabajo en persona o en línea recientemente, o estas preparándote para alguna exhibición? Donde y cuando? (Have you ever shared your work with an audience, as in-person or online exhibition? What was the most interesting reaction to your art?)

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Sí, por supuesto. He compartido mi trabajo a través de exposiciones físicas y en este último tiempo he participado en charlas on line donde he  exhibido parte de mi trabajo.

Afortunadamente en su mayoría las reacciones han sido muy favorables, aunque en algunas ocasiones, mi trabajo no ha sido totalmente comprendido. Todas las reacciones son válidas y si son constructivas, aún mejor.

El año 1995 hice una instalación en el mar ( frente al Parque María Behety), la cual trataba de una instalación flotante de 25 peces de colores en fibra de vidrio. El fundamento era generar conciencia en torno a la pesca industrial y con espineles. Mi entorno no entendió mucho el objetivo de este trabajo y me preguntaban las razones del mismo. Pero los pescadores que vivían en las cercanías estaban muy emocionados pues habían comprendido profundamente a lo que apuntaba la instalación. Además, apareció un niño y me preguntó si los peces eran de verdad…lo que obviamente  me conmovió.

En el año 1998 hice la exposición sobre la cual basé mi tesis para optar al grado académico de la U. de Chile, la que se inició el año 1996 con una investigación sobre la cultura Selknam. En ese tiempo no existía la difusión de la cultura nombrada, como la que existe hoy, por lo tanto esta muestra fue muy visitada por colegios como parte de la materia de historia, ya que el montaje consideraba información teórica, además de pintura e instalación.

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El año 2018, realicé la exposición “Catálogo General de los Seres Humanos de Magallanes”. Exhibí alrededor de 150 retratos y además un documento audio visual con respuestas recogidas a través de un cuestionario. Una de las reacciones que me marcaron fue la emoción que demostró una pintora muy talentosa, que trabaja y habita en esta región. En esa misma muestra fue muy emotivo  ver a los retratados haciéndose fotos con sus pinturas, sobre todo aquellos que no suelen visitar museos o galerías o quienes nunca se habían acercado a una pintura y en esa ocasión, se acercaban a través de su retrato.

 

 

 

 

¿Cual es tu opinión sobre los desafios que enfrenta el arte en las regiones polares/sub polares? (What is your opinion about the challenges being faced in the polar regions?)

Uno de los desafíos que presenta esta región, consiste en la educación de audiencias, ya que por diversas razones, la tendencia es más bien tradicional. Por lo anterior, muchas veces cuando se presentan trabajos alejados de la academia tradicional, sobre todo en lo que a pintura se refiere, el público no lo considera como un trabajo formal.

De todas maneras, no puedo dejar de decir, que esta región ha crecido mucho en su relación con el arte en los últimos 10/15 años.

Por otra parte nuestra ubicación geográfica hace muy difícil la provisión de materiales, lo que invita constantemente a crear soluciones para poder producir el trabajo propio.

¿Como se ha sido beneficiado/afectado tu trabajo durante esta pandemia? (How did you benefit/affected your art during the current pandemic?)

Partiendo de la consciencia de que esta pandemia ha afectado negativamente los distintos ámbitos de mucha gente, en lo personal ha sido muy beneficiosa.

Si bien, mi estilo de vida cotidiano no ha cambiado mucho, ya que soy del tipo que trabaja encerrada en el taller, las distintas reflexiones que me ha generado esta situación, han contribuido a experimentar una cierta libertad en cuanto a la relación con mis procesos creativos. Muchos fantasmas enemigos han desaparecido, el ego se ha situado bastante en su lugar pues su dominio se ha debilitado y la introspección se ha profundizado.

¿Tienes algún consejo para investigadores y científicos polares que tengan interés en incorporar arte para compartir y publicar los resultados de sus trabajos de investigación? (What would be your advice to the polar enthusiasts & researchers who like to use art as a tool to share their research?)

Primero agradecerles por su hacer e incorporar el arte para difundir los temas de interés, además de compartir la idea de descentralizar. Luego, justamente no perder el entusiasmo y el asombro ante todo lo que nos rodea y continuar en la labor de descubrir y difundir nuestros universos.

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© All pictures created by Andrea Araneda

Polar Art: Drifting North: Into the Polar Night

Artist: Amy Richman

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amy-richman-9622801b0/

Web: https://on-thin-ice.productions


Amy
 Richman is a nonfiction filmmaker focused on making the complex world of academic research more approachable to a broader audience. She spent four months in the Arctic last year filming the MOSAiC expedition. She witnessed the very beginning of the expedition and is here to let us know more about the conditions there!

Into the Polar Night: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phMSCTQJgqY

Into the Polar Night VR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=hNoyLjheeac&feature=emb_logo

What is your professional art form?

I am a nonfiction multimedia artist and filmmaker.

How and why you ended up with polar regions in your art? What was the triggering point?

I’ve always loved science.  During the last two years of my MFA program I started looking for opportunities that supported art-science collaborations so I could create interdisciplinary work with other students on campus. 

 

143 Amy Richman Polar Art Blog September 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are the main polar themes you generally focus on?

I would say the main themes I try to focus on in any project are wonder and curiosity. I like to believe that inspiring wonder and curiosity creates space for people to ask their own questions, which is ultimately the best way to encourage critical engagement with difficult and important conversations. 

 

Have you ever shared your work with an audience, as in-person or online exhibition? 

I have screened work in person for audiences in different contexts, but I’ve never made a film that’s been seen by people all over the world.  

 

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What was the most interesting reaction to your art?

I love when I hear people say that they’re not sure how to categorize the work: is it education outreach, is it a documentary, is it art...ha!

 

What is your opinion about the challenges being faced in the polar regions?

Believe the scientists when they say the climate system is changing, that the cycles within the system are changing.  That a system is complex with many remaining unknowns does not imply change isn’t happening. 

 

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How did you benefit your art during the current pandemic?

I got back from four months on an icebreaker ship in the Central Arctic just in time for quarantine to set in.  I made the planetarium film, Into the Polar Night, from my laptop in my bedroom in quarantine…

VR Version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNoyLjheeac&feature=youtu.be

Dome Format: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phMSCTQJgqY&list=PLAJ3J5OEZMuJH6e_oOs0qYwUwAxvz2vPX&index=5&t=0s

 

Do you have any person/figure that inspires you?

I’m inspired whenever I see anyone excited about what they do.  With this film specifically, I really wanted to make something that the scientists represented in the film loved. 

 

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What would be your advice to the polar enthusiasts & researchers who like to use art as a tool to share their research? 

An art practice in and of itself can be a non-fiction research methodology. This is different from, say, data visualization.  I don’t know if I have advice for other people (and of course I’m not a scientist), but what I wish I could have told myself ten years ago is use whatever it is you are passionate about (or, whatever it is you notice you tend do with your spare time) as a practice or way of learning, find creative ways to collaborate with people in other disciplines and don’t try to see the finished piece before you start.  I suppose one thing I could recommend to others using art as a tool to share their research is, consider your audience.

© All pictures created by Amy Richman

Polar Art: Illustration as a powerful Sci-comm

Artist: Pablo Ruiz

Twitter: @pablopax

Web: https://www.behance.net/pablopax

"Pablo Ruiz is a young graphical designer and illustrator from Punta Arenas. He had collaborated, illustrated and designed several books on Antarctica. His work ranges from children’s books to sci-comm about climate change and Antarctic research.

You can know more about his work on their web page https://www.behance.net/pablopax "


¿Cuál es el medio que empleas para tus expresiones artísticas? Por qué lo has elegido?
(What is your professional art form?)

No tengo un medio definido, me gusta la ilustración de técnicas mixtas análogas y digitales. Tampoco me dedico a la ilustración o lo considero mi fuerte como diseñador gráfico es constantemente estar en movimiento, programando webs, haciendo 3d, desarrollando ideas de contenido, tomando fotografías o haciendo videos con animaciones, siento que la versatilidad es todo, como los chinchineros diría en Chile.

¿Como y porque decidiste enfocar tu trabajo artístico en las regiones polares? (How and why you ended up with polar regions in your art? What was the triggering point?)

Cuando comencé como diseñador del Instituto Antártico Chileno, no prestaba tanta atención a Antártica era un tema lejano, pero de a poco fui enamorándome de este continente mágico y no solo sentí que se abrió una ventana en mi mente, sino un portalón gigante... sentí que desde mi disciplina no se le había “sacado el jugo”  a este lugar, lo sentí botado y abandonado gráficamente, ósea que, tenía todo por hacer. Y es así como sin darme cuenta me vi trabajando para antártica desde una manera laboral y personal.

 

137 Pablo Ruiz Polar Art Blog September 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cuáles son las temáticas polares y/o imágenes en las que centras tu trabajo? (What are the main polar themes you generally focus on?)

Ninguna en especial, cada trabajo o proyecto es una oportunidad, es como si tuvieras que hacer una sopa, todos podemos hacerla con los mismos ingredientes, pero a todos nos va a quedar distinto. Mi trabajo es hacer la mejor sopa posible incluso con los peores ingredientes.

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¿Has realizado exhibiciones de tu trabajo en persona o en línea recientemente, o estas preparándote para alguna exhibición? Donde y cuando? (Have you ever shared your work with an audience, as in-person or online exhibition? What was the most interesting reaction to your art?)

Si! Suelo meterme en más cosas que las que debería... este año a pesar de la contingencia de la pandemia estoy metido en varios proyectos personales y laborales:

- Un proyecto que me gusto mucho fue “El gran libro del Cambio Climático” comenzó como un trabajo pequeño y terminó siendo un libro el doble de grande en todo sentido, se publica a través de “Penguin Random House – Beascoa” y fue un trabajo con la periodista Andrea Navarro y estará disponible en noviembre de este año. Estoy muy contento a pesar de las dificultades, ya que otros países están interesados en adquirir la edición antes del lanzamiento... espero que todo salga bien.


*link de ilustración

https://www.behance.net/gallery/103525317/The-BIG-BOOK-of-Climate-Change

 

139 Pablo Ruiz Polar Art Blog September 2020

- Cambio Climático en cifras y Antártica en cifras son libros pequeños o una serie que se realizan en el dpto de comunicaciones de INACH íntegramente, es básicamente un libro ilustrado compuesto por ilustraciones que incluyan un número o cifra por tema tocado, personalmente me parece bien terminado el ultimo “cambio climático en cifras” ya que está pensado en colores, el libro se basa en “show your stripes” para hacer un libro con un índice en gradiente de rojo a azul para hablar de las amenazas del cambio climático. 

El libro de este año va a ser algo como “ciencia en números” la idea es bajar el contenido de un paper para todo público y resumirlo en breves frases estará disponible para fin de año en INACH
. Ambos libros puedes encontrarlos gratis en https://www.inach.cl/inach/?page_id=8680

*link de ilustración

https://www.behance.net/gallery/103523737/Climate-Change-in-figures

- Destaco un libro gratuito que se llama “sabias que... de Magallanes y Antártica” fue un libro que muestra este viaje entre patagonia y antártica a través de su biodiversidad. Hoy estamos preparando la segunda parte como parte de un trabajo “INACH” y “Centro IDEAL”.
 Descárgalo gratis la primara edición en ingles desde http://www.centroideal.cl/eng/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Libro_Did_you_know.pdf

*link de ilustración

https://www.behance.net/gallery/81709965/Did-you-know-about-Antarctica-and-Magallanes-Region

- Para este año estará disponible la nueva reedición de la guía “Huellas Antárticas”, desde el 2013 que ya no se tocaba esa guía es una buena renovación a cargo del Dpto de comunicaciones de INACH. Si quieres leer la antigua  mira la sección de publicaciones de INACH
. https://www.inach.cl/inach/?page_id=8680

- Finalmente tengo dos libros personales que están en búsqueda de editorial, un cuento sobre los 500 años y los pueblos indígenas, que han sido poco integrados en esta conmemoración (la cual no me parece) y un libro sobre ballenas que está casi terminado.

 

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¿Tienes algún consejo para investigadores y científicos polares que tengan interés en incorporar arte para compartir y publicar los resultados de sus trabajos de investigación? (What would be your advice to the polar enthusiasts & researchers who like to use art as a tool to share their research?)

Mostrar los resultados es un tema, quien no se ha topado con los resultados de una investigación hecha libro?, o sería mejor decir “hecha un ladrillo”.

Mis ojos han sangrado lo suficiente mirando resultados... generalmente son investigaciones con fondos de difusión y que tienen detrás una increíble investigación, la cual después de todo el gran esfuerzo, todo el imborrable trabajo de años y el tiempo invertido, se transforma en un gran libro “ladrillo” y se presenta como el “gran resultado final” ilegible, poco entendible, aislado.

Es un error común dejar las comunicaciones para el final, cómo dejar menos fondos para el diseño, que no es “embellecer”, o tener “reuniones creativas” o “agregar valor a algo” sino que personalmente, tiene un rol de acercar; contenidos, objetos, comunicaciones, la ciencia... a todos en un mismo nivel.  “es hacer que tu investigación llegue a todos y sea una semilla”

El llamado final es a destinar tus fondos a gente motivada que va hacer que tu trabajo te genere “más trabajo futuro”.

¿Cuáles son las reacciones del público más frecuentes cuando ven tu trabajo artístico? (What are the most common reactions of the public when they see your work?)

Lo siento, me da un poco de vergüenza hablar de esto... como título antártico, más de una vez me han ofrecido mi propio libro en una librería, igual no lo compre jajaja.

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En tu opinión, ¿cuales son los desafíos más grandes que enfrentan las regiones polares en la actualidad? (In your opinion, what are the challenges being faced in the polar regions?)

Como un tema global, el Cambio Climático a conciencia, es difícil decirle a alguien que le falta trabajo o necesidades básicas, que ayude al planeta, ¿porque lo haría?, más aún si hay grandes empresas e intereses, que no aportan nada, solo más basura. Es ahí donde acercar los contenidos y potenciar políticas son una gran herramienta.

 

Tienes un colega artista (polar o no) favorito? (Do you have a favourite collegue or artist?)

Difícil tener uno entre tantos, aparte estos años tengo conflictos con el arte y su “lejanía sensible” con la gente común. No se confunda, me gusta mucho... solo puedo recomendar:

- Bruno Munari - Diseñador

- Byung-Chul Han - Filósofo

- El grupo de gente con quien trabajo son una gran fuente de motivación.

Por favor, déjanos tu sitio web y tus contactos de las redes sociales para que los podamos compartir con nuestro público. Muchas gracias por tu participación! (Many thanks for participating! Please leave us your web site and/or social media links)

142 Pablo Ruiz Polar Art Blog September 2020

Gracias por leer este artículo, pueden ver una porción de mi trabajo en : https://www.behance.net/pablopax o en la sección de publicaciones de INACH 

 

https://www.inach.cl/inach/?page_id=8680

O seguirme en twitter @pablopax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© All pictures created by Pablo Ruiz

Polar Art: Draw North

McCreesh Alison PolarArtBlog PolarWeekMar2020Artist: Alison McCreesh

Instagram: @alisonmccreesh

Twiter: @alisonmccreesh

FaceBook: Alison McCreesh Illustration

Instagram: Alison McCreesh

Website: www.DrawnNorth.ca

 

What medium(s) do you work in? How did you choose that medium?

I work in a variety of mediums.

I have a fibre arts practice where I develop large hangings out of felted wool. It's a medium I love for many reasons, most notably because it has a strong cultural connection to the north around the world. 

I also work as a cartoonist, drawing and writing graphic novels and comics. I publish short pieces in magazines and my two full-length books are 'Ramshackle, A Yellowknife Story' (2015) that explores the reality in living off grid in what is otherwise a modern government town and Norths, Two suitcases and a Stroller around the Circumpolar World (2018) that is based on six months of travel North of 60 with my partner and small child.  

McCreesh Alison PolarArtBlog PolarWeekMar2020 2

McCreesh Alison PolarArtBlog PolarWeekMar2020 3Finally, I run a business in Yellowknife that offers illustration and graphic recordings services. In that capacity, I work with clients to create visuals to communicate information in ways that are engaging and wide-reaching.

Though my work varies in mediums, there are clearly common threads. Contemporary day-to-day life in the north, in all its complexity, is a theme that carries through the vast majority of my projects. I generally try to combine the anecdotal and the documentary to present an intimate and relatable picture of the northern parts of the globe. 

How and why did you decide to focus on the polar regions in your work?

Ever since falling in love with the north and subsequently moving to Yellowknife over a decade ago, this part of the globe has been the focus of my creative work. The themes I have been interested in have shifted over the years, but the north is a constant. When I first arrived, I thought a lot about the "Idea of North". I was interested in the romantic frontier imagining and how it contrasted with reality. In that spirit, I became interested in what could and should be considered heritage in a young town like Yellowknife. Over time, I became more interested in the Circumpolar North as a whole. These days, I am looking at this global north with a focus on some of the shared history of the past century - mining, militarization, economic development, colonialism, etc.  At this moment, where a lot of climate related decisions will directly impact the north, I want people to help people learn about, and therefore hopefully care about, this part of the world.

McCreesh Alison PolarArtBlog PolarWeekMar2020 4What polar themes or imagery do you typically focus on? 

Throughout my different projects, my main focus is the people. I'm interested in the contemporary day-to-day life in the north, in what people have experienced and on what lies ahead. I'm interested in all the rapid changes the populations have seen, willingly or otherwise, over the past few generations. 

Do you have any advice for polar scientists and researchers who might like to engage more with using art to share their results and research?

I think art and visuals are a crucial and often underestimated tool when it comes to communicating and engaging. When I do graphic recordings or create fully illustrated infographics, I find it reaches a broad audience. It's not a case of "dumbing it down", rather it makes often dense materials more palatable and more alive. It draws people in and it piques their interest. It also helps reduce barriers when it comes to languages and terminology. I'm always pleased too at how much scientists also like seeing theirs and others' work rendered visually!

McCreesh Alison PolarArtBlog PolarWeekMar2020 5

What reactions do you often receive to your art?

Throughout my work, the human aspect is what seems to speak to people most. I dwell on small details to make my pieces real and relatable and the audience always enjoy that. When I exhibited work about Nunavut in northern Russia, people grinned when they saw jerry cans and snowmobiles. Likewise, when I exhibited in Iceland, locals liked my depictions of a "super jeep".  In some of my work, I try to prompt thought or discussion about more serious issues relating to the North, but even then I find it important to make some space for humour and smiles.

McCreesh Alison PolarArtBlog PolarWeekMar2020 6

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the polar regions today?

From my perspective, climate change is probably the biggest challenge.  As we all know, it's happening faster in the north and the impacts are very tangible. I think a lot about how it affects the people, especially those who live in small isolated communities that are already strained and struggling on several fronts. Access to the land is such a crucial part of wellness - for hunting, for culture, for transportation, for food - and having unpredictable ice and weather conditions impacts this directly.  I also think a lot about development in the north, be it resource extraction or large scale tourism, and wonder about the challenges and struggles of balancing economic opportunities with protecting the land and culture.

Do you have a favourite fellow polar (or nature) artist?

I really like the work of Casey Koyczan, who is a Tlicho Dene interdisciplinary artist from Yellowknife. He creates really thought provoking and immersive installations. Nature and indigenous culture are in the forefront of his pieces. 

© Pictures created by Alison McCreesh

Polar Art: Beauty of a Changing World

Todd Anderson was born in Rochester, Minnesota, USA. Anderson received a BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a MFA from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Over the course of several years he apprenticed and eventually became a fine art collaborative printer. For the last decade Anderson has worked as a university professor. Anderson’s artwork has been acquired by notable institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, The Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, the New York Public Library, Stanford and Yale Universities, and the U.S. Library of Congress. Anderson’s artworks have been exhibited over 100 times nationally and international including at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Anderson Todd PolarArtBlog PolarWeekMar2020 BlackfootName: Todd Anderson

Webpage: www.ToddAndersonArtist.com and www.TheLastGlacier.com 

Instagram: @toddandersonartist

 

What medium do you work in? How did you choose that medium?

My work falls into the medium of fine art printmaking. Printmaking is an umbrella term for a host of techniques (woodcuts, engraving, etching, and etc.). However, it can simply be understood as a means for creating original printed artwork onto paper. In the field, I sketch and take photographs, which are later translated in the studio into hand carved woodcuts or photopolymer gravures. The latter is rooted in a 19th century photomechanical process that allows for continuous tone photographic imagery on paper.

Anderson Todd PolarArtBlog PolarWeekMar2020 JacksonHow and why did you decide to focus on the polar regions in your work?

My intent as an artist is to share the beauty of our changing world. For the last ten years, I have been working on long-term collaborative projects with scientists, writers and fellow artists that focus on various parts of the world where the effects of global heating can be seen and scientifically verified. These projects have focused on climate driven events like tree migration in the deserts of the Southwestern United States, glacial retreat in national parks, and the like. My more recent work in the Arctic and Antarctica are natural extension of this work. I am like many people for whom getting to travel and work in the Arctic and Antarctica have been lifelong goals. I feel very lucky to have made the polar regions a part of my life.

What polar themes or imagery do you typically focus on?

Historically I have focused on creatively documenting glacial retreat. Recently I was in Antarctica with my longstanding artist collaborator Ian van Coller, who is a fine art photographer. We were in Antarctica as part of the USA’s National Science Foundation Artists and Writers Program. Our primary charges revolve around an art + science project about paleoclimatology and ice coring with a science team whose PI is John Higgins from Princeton University in New Jersey, USA.

Have you exhibited your artwork in-person or online somewhere recently or have an upcoming exhibition?

  • June 2020 Old Main Gallery in Bozeman, Montana, USA.
  • November 2020 through January 2021 Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
  • February – June 2021 Hockaday Museum of Art in Montana, USA.
  • Ongoing @ the Metropolitan Museum of Art Mezzanine Gallery Store in New York City
  • and Kai Lin Art Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Anderson Todd PolarArtBlog PolarWeekMar2020 KintlaDo you have any advice for polar scientists and researchers who might like to engage more with using art to share their results and research?

Give it a try! Art and science collaborations—for both the scientists and the artists--are superb ways to broaden one’s understanding of the world. Scientists and artists share a lot of traits including an active curiosity about the world around them. I have also noticed that both scientists and artists are often very driven people as well as highly individualistic, which makes relating to one another come easily and quickly. For me, learning and new friendships are reason enough for collaboration, but I should mention that artists can offer scientists new ways of disseminating their research to a lay public (through exhibitions, conferences, and the like). 

What reactions do you often receive to your art?

Fortunately, my experiences have been very positive. I believe that this is due, in part, to the focus my artist collaborators and I put toward visually celebrating the beauty of things like glaciers, trees, or an Arctic landscape. Our approach is all about using art to find common ground with an audience so that the project writers (scientists) can then make their case to a more engaged and receptive audience. 

Anderson Todd PolarArtBlog PolarWeekMar2020 GrinnellWhat do you think are the biggest challenges facing the polar regions today?

The polar regions are changing very fast. I was hiking north of the Arctic Circle last July in t-shirts and shorts. Polar ecosystems are on the verge of collapsing while the human presence in these parts of the world are rapidly increasing. Anyone reading this knows very well what I am talking about (e.g., pollution from new shipping lanes, new cultural and civic threats to aboriginal communities, etcetera). The historic otherness of the poles, I think, has been very important for we humans in understanding our place on the planet. Wild places—and the polar regions are the most extreme examples—are refuges for daydreams; they are places that can help us re-center and reset ourselves. As an artist, this is what I also often think about.

Do you have a favourite fellow polar (or nature) artist?

I have been working with artists Bruce Crownover and Ian van Coller for about ten years. They are definitely my favorite artists! www.CrownoverArt.com and www.IanvanColler.com 

© pictures created by Todd Anderson

Polar Art: A musician in Antarctica

Patrick Shepherd is an accomplished composer, conductor, performer, researcher and teacher, and is well-known for his work in the community and with young people. Patrick is also an Honorary Antarctic Arts Fellow, having travelled to Antarctica twice in 2003/2004 and 2016/2017, and much of his current creative work is related to those trips, including painting and poetry as well as music. Somewhat paradoxically, his experience in Antarctica led him to research the medical condition synaesthesia (altered sensory perception).

Shpeherd Patrick PolarArtBlog PolarWeekMar2020Name: Patrick Shepherd

Web: https://www.patrickshepherdcomposer.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtem8XS1FKI4_c-hXib0hbA

 

What medium do you work in? How did you choose that medium?

I am a professional musician so most of my creative work is done as a composer, but I also conduct, perform and teach. For as long as I can remember I have been involved in music in some form or other. However, since travelling to Antarctica, I have returned to some of my earlier interests of painting and creative writing, probably because not everything I experienced in Antarctica could be expressed in sound. As for choosing music as my main area of interest, I didn’t really, it chose me. 

How and why did you decide to focus on the polar regions in your work?

What drew me to Antarctica in the first place was a distinct fascination with ice and snow which is a really strong memory from my childhood growing up in the north-east of England. I loved “snow days” and that very particular quality of light when snow has fallen. It was therefore a natural progression for me to go there given that we are so close to Antarctica, that Antarctica has such a strong public profile here in Christchurch and there was the opportunity to do so through Antarctica New Zealand’s artists’ programme. All the stars collided for me and came at a time when I was broadening my research interests to not only create music but to examine the creative process behind it and the phenomenological backstory of what it means to be “creative”.  

What polar themes or imagery do you typically focus on?

The polar themes emerging from my work could be broadly categorised into historical, environmental and scientific, although I often find that whatever the initial stimulus, it all becomes woven together through some form of constructed personal narrative. At one point I got quite obsessed about interiors and exteriors from being inside the huts and looking out, but that idea took a back seat until recently when it resurfaced as I began work on my fourth symphony.

Have you exhibited your artwork in-person or online somewhere recently or have an upcoming exhibition?

My musical compositions have been broadcast on Radio NZ and in concerts around New Zealand, as well as overseas, with several uploaded to YouTube (see the links below). The exposure of my artwork and poetry has been largely through my university lecture sand public presentations to service organisations such as Rotary, Lions and U3A. My poetry has mainly been written to serve as words for my musical compositions.

Do you have any advice for polar scientists and researchers who might like to engage more with using art to share their results and research?

My personal philosophy around art’s relationship with science in Antarctica is that they form a symbiosis whereby each can inform and add value to the other. The artist can provide a portal through which the public can connect with concepts fronting the hard science, heightening public awareness and presenting the issues in a different way. It is not a universally held view, of course, and ars gratia artis is important in having creative work that makes its own statement irrespective of anything else, but it is something that I have found significant in how I approach my Antarctica-related creative works. I would hesitate to give anybody advice, whether they be scientist or artist, except to be open to other viewpoints and ways of expressing in whatever medium what is, essentially, a search for the truth.

What reactions do you often receive to your art?

Reactions to my work have generally been very positive as Antarctica seems to really capture people’s imagination. Listeners like to be transported there and let their imaginations run wild! I do, however, distinctly remember a primary school student asking me at the end of a presentation why my Antarctic music sounded sad. It was a very perceptive question and I think that because I tend not to use standard chords and melodies this may be partly the answer but, on reflection, I think they hit the nail on the head – for me, Antarctica is a sad place and yet I was filled with absolute joy and wonder to be there. It is something that I have been conscious of (very self-conscious of) in music I have written since then but all it has proved is that they were right.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the polar regions today?

Looking further afield, I think the biggest challenge facing the polar regions is undoubtedly climate change and ensuring that the facts and the message get delivered unequivocally to the general public. It may well be that with all the noise this becomes the toughest challenge of all.

Do you have a favourite fellow polar (or nature) artist?

During my time lecturing and research on Antarctic Arts I have come to thoroughly enjoy the works of my fellow New Zealanders Chris Cree Brown, Phil Dadson and Gareth Farr. British composer Peter Maxwell Davies’ Symphony no.8 is a magnificently constructed treatise in austerity and latent power, while for a more populist listen you can’t go past Vangelis’ soundtrack to Koreyoshi Kurahara’s movie Antarctica. I’m also intrigued by Cheryl 

Leonard’s music that uses materials gathered in Antarctica, such as penguin bones. Cheryl manages to create some amazing sounds.

 © pictures created by Patrick Shepherd

Websites and media links

https://www.patrickshepherdcomposer.com/

https://youtu.be/eoXeVD8zuCk

https://sounz.org.nz/works/11777?locale=en 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R0BnD1UDsc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_04K2FTnof4&feature=youtu.be

Polar Art: North by Nuuk

Defibaugh Denis PolarArtBlog PolarWeekMar2020Artist: Denis Defibaugh
Instagram: @defden
Website: https://www.denisdefibaughgreenland.co

What medium do you work in? How did you choose that medium?

I am a photographer. I have always been interested in documenting the world and telling stories with a camera. My photographs have been used to illustrate editorials, publications, on assignment and through personal projects. I have produced two books of documentary
photography. Most recently North by Nuuk, Greenland after Rockwell Kent and earlier the book The Day of the Dead.

How and why did you decide to focus on the polar regions in your work?

My interest in Greenland was magnified by seeing the lanternslides that Rockwell Kent created in the 1930’s in Illorsuit, Greenland. They are like precious gems (transparencies on glass) that are activated by light. These photographs inspired my travels to Greenland to photograph contemporary Greenland’s society, culture, and environment.

What polar themes or imagery do you typically focus on?

I concentrate on the West Central Coastal region of Greenland. My photographs document the primal landscape, the cultural environment, and the people of the region. This includes the broad sublime landscape, the interaction of Inuit with the environment, daily activities of Inuit people, and their intimate portraits. My photo documentary approach is to represent life in Greenland.

Defibaugh Denis PolarArtBlog PolarWeekMar2020 2Have you exhibited your artwork in-person or online somewhere recently or have an upcoming exhibition?

These photographs have been published by RITPress in the book North by Nuuk, Greenland after Rockwell Kent in 2019. Exhibitions are scheduled for April-July at Pensacola State College’s Main Gallery and January-April and SUNY Plattsburgh’s Burke Gallery.

RIT’s University Gallery premiered the exhibition in 2019. The project can be seen on https://www.denisdefibaughgreenland.com and on http://lenscratch.com/2019/07/denis-
defibaugh-north-by-nuuk-greenland-after-kent/ to name a few sites on the web.

Do you have any advice for polar scientists and researchers who might like to engage more with using art to share their results and research?

I would encourage polar scientists, historians, and artists to do their research, meet with experienced polar visitors that have traveled to the Polar areas, and gain as much knowledge before embarking on a polar project. Collaborative projects can be key to developing a meaningful experience and successful results for your research and artwork.

Defibaugh Denis PolarArtBlog PolarWeekMar2020 3What reactions do you often receive to your art?

For the North by Nuuk... project, many people express an overwhelming sense of the culture and place when looking at the photographs. Many questions are asked about my experience. Curiosity to learn more about Greenland is expressed by many, and for people that know
Greenland, they mention that they see the real Greenland in the photographs.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the polar regions today?

My thoughts about the biggest challenges facing the polar region obviously includes climate change. The polar regions are being affected twice as fast as the rest of the world. Beyond snow melt and affects to sea animals and polar animals, hunting culture, and traditional culture is changing.

Do you have a favourite fellow polar (or nature) artist?

My two favorite polar artists are Emanuel Peterson and Rockwell Kent. They are historic artists
of Greenland of the 20th century

Please provide a website that features your work and social media handles to share with our public.

Name: Denis Defibaugh
Website: https://www.denisdefibaughgreenland.com
Instagram: @defden

Defibaugh Denis PolarArtBlog PolarWeekMar2020 4

© Pictures created by Denis Defibaugh

Polar Art: Inuit Lady

Panínguak Kjærulff Maria PolarArtBlog PolarWeekMar2020Name: Maria Panínguak` Kjærulff

Webpage: www.inuitlady.com

Instagram: @inuitlady

 
What medium do you work in? How did you choose that medium?

I work with charcoal and acrylic, drawing, ink and watercolors. I love drawing, so it was natural for me to continue with that medium. Acrylic is good because it dries fast and I can work in layers. Watercolors have been my medium of choice for the past ten years, because it is something I can work with at home, without making a mess and without requiring the large studio needed for working with acrylics.   

How and why did you decide to focus on the polar regions in your work? 

Because it is my home. 

What polar themes or imagery do you typically focus on? 

Panínguak Kjærulff Maria PolarArtBlog PolarWeekMar2020 4I don’t tie myself down to one subject, or limit myself in that way—but I have painted polar bears in regard to climate change: I have painted images with polar bears and ice melting on a 21-foot container, on a tiny stamp, and on a canvas painting that was donated for a good cause. 

When I was part of the Environmental Sculpture Biennale in Finland, I worked with what was available in stones and nature and flowers to create an environmentally sustainable piece, I called “Igloo Ruin”. …The work takes a stand towards climate change as a future flash into the past. An eternal igloo is built of stone that will not melt. A perennial Greenlandic white flower grows around the work; and a myth from time immemorial is connected to picking it up: do not pick the flower, so that it will not begin to rain. Amidst big trees, the igloo is like a holy place of nature.” (source: https://artii.fi/artists/maria-paninguak - https://artii.fi/artists/maria-paninguak-kjaerulff/)

Panínguak Kjærulff Maria PolarArtBlog PolarWeekMar2020 3In my recent work of graphic watercolors with Inuit cultural icons, I have painted a series of ‘Inuit Lady’s with Greenlandic flora. And also a rare orchid that grows a few places in Greenland. A recent painting included two narwhals. (At the same time they were released, the hunting on narwhals on the East coast of Greenland was a focus in the news, with biologists warning that the high quota for hunting narwhals threatens their existence.) 

Have you exhibited your artwork in-person or online somewhere recently or have an upcoming exhibition? 

Yes, I have exhibited my artwork in several galleries and museums in Greenland, the Nordic Countries, as well as Canada and the US. I participate in annual group exhibitions with The Associations of Artists in Greenland, KIMIK. This year, the show is in May in the Cultural House of Greenland, Katuaq. My recent work with the ‘Inuit Lady’ was portrayed in a book published in Korea by author Kim Insuk.

Do you have any advice for polar scientists and researchers who might like to engage more with using art to share their results and research? 

Visual images have a strong power to convey information. Choosing indigenous and local artist that experience the changes in the polar regions on a daily basis is a way of acknowledging their hands-on experiences with the region, culture and climate. They know things that you can’t necessarily measure or read anywhere. Giving them a voice will get you further and cooperating will give you both insights into unique worlds. 

What reactions do you often receive to your art?

Panínguak Kjærulff Maria PolarArtBlog PolarWeekMar2020 2With my large painting on the 21-foot container, the local people of Greenland associated the swimming polar bears with a spiritual dreamy take on the animal, which I enjoyed. The Inuit Ladies are popular in that it is a new take on cultural images with a fresh twist. Another reaction is that people wish for me to go further than Greenland with my work. Beyond this small community. 

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the polar regions today? 

Global warming, information and education. In regard to the narwhals being overhunted, I find a clash between culture and facts. There is a lot of emotions and identity tied with old traditions, that are sensitive and risky for politicians to deal with, if they want to take the sustainable and responsible choices needed. Another big concern is all the social problems that need a great change of focus and structure, in order to really deal with and get to the root of the problems. It’s deep and connects to everything else in life here: families, schools, education, jobs, drugs, motivation, empowerment, etc. 

Do you have a favourite fellow polar (or nature) artist? 

I have admiration for many of my fellow artists in all fields, local as well as abroad. To me, it is people made of the same lump of clay as myself. The favourites are those, who manage to speak to my heart and values with humility and kindness. Respecting others and themselves. That is an art in itself. 

Please provide a website that features your work and social media handles to share with our public. Thank you!

Maria Panínguak` Kjærulff

www.mariagreenland.com

Facebook: @mariakjaerulffofficialpage

Facebook/Instagram: @mariagreenlandart

www.inuitlady.com

Facebook/Instagram: @inuitlady

© All pictures created by Maria Panínguak` Kjærulff

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