Located at the southernmost part of the globe, Antarctica, with its extreme cold climate, is a challenging destination for the human body and a site of inspiration for artists. Australia’s first expedition – the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (1911–14) – was led by Adelaide-based Douglas Mawson, who recruited photographer and filmmaker Frank Hurley to document the journey.
This exhibition includes photographs by Hurley, including his iconic photograph, The blizzard, 1912, that depicts two men battling to walk against the force of the wind. Also on display is a recent acquisition by Sidney Nolan, Bea Maddock’s artist book and set of forty photo etchings created after her residency in 1987 and two bodies of work by Adelaide-based Ian North who travelled to Antarctica in 2012 on the one hundredth anniversary of Mawson’s expedition. The aural landscape of Antarctica is captured by sound artist Philip Samartzis, whose recent field recordings convey the dramatically changing conditions he encountered there.
Advances in technology have made Antarctica one of the most surveilled territories on the planet. Paradoxically it remains a site of imaginative projection for creative citizens.