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Flying to Sky Blu, 2002, aquacryl, gouache on paper (67cm x 101cm) by Philip Hughes

Emperor penguin, furthers east, Jan 31, 1902. Watercolour on paper by Edward Wilson

© Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, UK / Bridgeman Images


Resurgence & Ecologist imagining and representing Antarctica to international audiences. Similar programmes of support have been developed in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. With each generation of artists whose work is inspired by the Antarctic, there has been an ever-widening pool of interpretation, including sculpture, theatre, ceramics, video installation, jewellery and costume design. Clearly and overwhelmingly in those objects, it is shown that the Antarctic can never again be regarded simply as a place only for science.

The American painter Alan Campbell is among those artists helped by the NSF to develop a personal response to Antarctica’s hypnotising presence. Whether expressed in Campbell’s fascination with Shackleton’s hut at Cape Royds, or in any other of his works, the experience of visiting Antarctica ultimately remains too overwhelming for a single journey there to encompass. Return expeditions are essential. Campbell has made the journey four times. An ability to cross between science and the arts helps.

Philip Hughes originally trained as an engineer and scientist before eventually finding consolation in expressing his response to Antarctica through landscape painting. His ‘Flying to SkyBlu’ (2002) was often mentioned in the interviews I had with Antarctic travellers.

John Kelly also began his journey toward Antarctic humanities as a scientist – in geology and geography. However, with works such as ‘Southern Forensics’ – composed of found objects such as ice-smoothed stones, penguin feathers and broken bird eggs, and

January/February 2019

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