SOUTHERN LIGHT

PAINTINGS INSPIRED BY ANTARCTICA
HANNAH BLACKMORE

THE STUDIO GALLERY  - 29 SEPTEMBER - 31 OCTOBER 2022

Southern Light is a series of paintings depicting the unique light and beauty of Antarctica. My purpose is to show this isolated environment through my indirect experience as the partner of an Antarctic expeditioner and share why we need to protect this natural wonder of the world.

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Southern Light intends to increase public awareness of the beauty of Antarctica, and the important work that takes place to protect this unique environment.

 

I have not been to Antarctica. However, it has become an important part of my life over the past ten years. I have been married for ten years, and my husband has spent a third of that time in Antarctica. It has become part of our relationship, and we also have a close circle of friends who visit Antarctica regularly. It is a place I have developed a connection to, through my experience as an artist.

 

As a painter, I am drawn to colour and light, and the light of Antarctica is something I have found captivating in the images I have seen. I have created a series of semi-abstract landscapes depicting the natural beauty of Antarctica, and share our Antarctic legacy. I do hope to travel to Antarctica one day and capture the beauty I see with paint. For now, I shall share my interpretation and experience through the people in my life with you.

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WHAT DOES ANTARCTICA MEAN TO YOU?

I asked my friends who have either visited Antarctica or have a connection to it to share their experiences:


 

SIMON

 

Antarctica is one of the last untouched places on earth that very few people have the opportunity to visit. Every time I have travelled to Antarctica, I am amazed by how beautiful and awe-inspiring this part of the world is. The best part of being in Antarctica with the Australian program has been the fantastic people I have had the pleasure to work with. Sharing the experience of being in Antarctica with talented, dedicated and awesome colleagues/friends has made the whole experience even more special and memorable. 

 

CARMEN


Both having worked at the Australian Antarctic Division & having a husband that has travelled many times to the Antarctic, I absolutely love learning, hearing stories and seeing pictures of the extraordinary array of marine and land animals that live in Antarctica. From the smelly seals to the beautiful & majestic penguins, Antarctica is home to an amazing array of wildlife. 

 

NOEL

For all its beauty, immensity and wonder, what really strikes me about Antarctica is that it is the property of no one, so belongs to everyone.

 

SUE

Arriving at Macquarie Island after a three-day sail, for the annual week-long station resupply for the Australian Antarctic Program was a dream come true.

 

King penguins curiously greeted us as they zipped back and forth alongside the ship from bow to stern and back again.

 

My partner 'wintered' on the island some 16 years earlier as the station chef. He was away for 1 year and 2 weeks.  We had been dating for just 14 weeks before he left.   

 

As I arrived on the island - it felt like there was magic in the air - a sense of the mystical surrounded me - it was a sensation I had only imagined was make-believe - like something you might watch in a movie.

 

The weather was wild, misty, windy - there was a sense that mother nature was definitely in charge. 

 

The animals were abundant, with sea birds flying above and elephant seals on the beach.  The beloved Aurora Australis sat out at sea, as expeditioners and cargo were ferried from the ship via LARCS (land amphibious crafts) and helicopters.

 

I immediately understood why my partner loves the island so much and I feel our connection has strengthened from my brief encounter on this Island. I  feel so privileged for the opportunity to have visited nature's wonderland we affectionately call Macca.

STEVE

It is difficult to express in a few words the wonderment of Antarctica. I have spent many years travelling south to the white continent, an ice-covered landmass situated almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle and surrounded by the Southern Ocean. 

It is on average the coldest, driest, and windiest continent on earth and virtually uninhabited, with the exception of those of us who travel there seasonally to work, study and protect its environment. 

Sir Ernest Shackleton’s fabled advertisement read, “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.” 

Whilst the times have changed, the mystique has not. I love its inhospitable nature, the solitude, and the ability to experience what relatively few have. For me, the draw south stems from the experience, the place, the wildlife and the people who come together from so varied walks of life, their adaptability and resourcefulness, their mutual appreciation for Antarctica and the community we all create through living and working so closely together. 

These days a safe return is the normality and we don’t receive the same levels of recognition and honour bestowed on the Antarctic explorers of the past. Nevertheless going south, since my first trip in 2003, has always been my honour… I will always look forward to returning.