If it's chilly where you are, spare a thought for Chris Drury. Known for his nature-inspired installations, the British land artist is currently embedded with the British Antarctic Survey in the world's southernmost continent.
As a sort of artist-in-residence, his aim on traveling to Antarctica was to study the micro- and macrocosm — in the body and on the planet. As he writes on his website, “I applied to go because my instinct was to try to visit one of the most extreme places on the planet as a counterpoint to looking at extreme patterns of flow in the body. Recently someone drew my attention to the fact that in the Navajo tradition, wind is the force of the creator and the whorls on our fingertips are the traces of creation as drawn by wind.”
Before his departure, he planned to film icebergs, climb mountains, and excavate caves. On his arrival in Rothera on the Antarctic Peninsula, however, he found himself limited in his actions by the extreme conditions of the continent and humbled by the incredible beauty of the place. As he records in his blog, he now has “no wish to use other resources to make a futile impression on what is absolute.” Instead he says he is content to record on film what he sees and let it sink deep inside him.
His blog (complete with stunning images) makes fascinating reading, with its tales of dodging icebergs in inflatable boats and making temporary cairns out of rocks and ice. Chris leaves Antarctica in early February, but will continue adding to his blog over the coming months.