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ARTIST STATEMENT ON POLAR REGIONS
Sheena Fraser McGoogan
Countless people have painted icebergs, and countless more have described them in writing. Yet they proved so much more dramatic than I expected. The vast skies, the rocky cliffs, the starkness of the treeless landscape – together with the icebergs, all these make me feel that the Arctic is where my painting has been taking me all along.

I have been involved with the north at one removed for several years, because I assist my author/ husband Ken McGoogan with his research and photographs for his books on Arctic discovery. This research has immersed me both historically and environmentally. It was quite a shock to see the absence of ice in September, and compare that with the situation that emerges in the history of eighteenth and nineteenth-century explorers.

In Ilulissat, Greenland, while cruising in a Zodiac among some of the largest icebergs in the world, I found myself thinking that my paintings, until recently quite layered and complex, had lately been getting cleaner, simpler, more Zen-like. And I realized this is where I had been heading – towards the stark simplicity of the iceberg.

POLAR EXPERIENCE
In late August and early September of 2007, I sailed in the Northwest Passage with Adventure Canada. Starting in Resolute Bay, we traced the coast of Baffin island, and then crossed Davis Strait to Greenland. During this voyage, we stopped frequently to hike across the tundra, visit Inuit settlements, and venture out among the Bowhead whales. As we sailed, I made dozens of preliminary sketches and took hundreds of photos – several of which were later published in the Globe and Mail.

Although I have spent time in Whitehorse and Dawson City, Yukon, this voyage was my first visit to the High Arctic. And it will not be the last. In August 2008, I will go north again -- this time to Iceland and the east coast of Greenland.

Direct Correspondence to:
elected member of
Sheena Fraser McGoogan
Canada
Tel: 416-686-2756
Email: sheena.mcgoogan@gmail.com
Web: www.sheenamcgoogan.com
P.A.G.
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