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ARTIST STATEMENT ON POLAR REGIONS & POLAR EXPERIENCE
Craig Vear

Past the Antarctic convergence and through the Drakes passage into Iceberg territory. No visibility, however the radar, looking like a Mexicana pizza topping, is showing hundreds of bergs. Then the fog lifts, at which point you realise how big these bergs are. The distant ones, the size of London, are colossal, but it’s the smaller growlers with their beautiful cyan blues that just astound you. The mountains of Signy are in the distance and penguins are darting out of the way of the ship with a disgruntled squawk. As we anchor, one is awestruck by these natural sculptures of sulphurous blue ice. Carved by a skilled and imaginative tool relinquished from thought, choice and ego.

To fully explain and describe the rest of the passage down through the Peninsula would require a vocabulary and prolific grasp of the English Language beyond my simple ways. It became clear, as each new hour brought a spectacle eclipsing the last, that I had quickly run out of superlatives and had started relying on expletives. Even the photographs and film footage I had seen before coming South were insignificant documentation compared to the physical experience. How is it possible, by any means, to describe the sonic, visual and emotional overload of smashing through ice packs on a day with 24 hrs sun, mill pond seas and 150-mile visibility, to a crisp horizon with seals, penguins and whales playing around the ship, secure in the knowledge that there is no pollution, television or any one else around for hundreds or maybe thousands of miles? AND navigating through waters (named after the captain of the ship) flanked by sheer black cliff faces 3 times the height of Canary wharf, scarred and covered by ancient glaciers sparkling in the sun and containing every shade of blue possible.

Antarctica is an immense place, bigger than words and painting; bigger than one man can grasp or capture. A place of gigantic proportions, the scale of which would dwarf the Alps, radiating the strength and spirit of ALL people, old and new, who have come here and shed a tear in impressive awe of this temple."
Extracts from my Guardian website diary.

Direct Correspondence to:
elected member of
Craig Vear
Email: vear_at_ev2.co.uk
Web: www.ev2.co.uk
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