nanoq – flat out and bluesome24. Jan - 5. Apr 09 / ended New Walk Museum & Art Gallery
nanoq – flat out and bluesome is the story of polar bears, the largest land predators on earth, and their journey from the arctic wilderness to the museums and stately homes of the UK.
Charting the uneasy relationship between the wild and its representation in our museums, galleries and media, nanoq also highlights the current plight of polar bears who are facing extinction because of the destruction of their habitat.
Between 2002 and 2004, artists Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson undertook a survey of all the taxidermied polar bears in the UK. 33 stuffed polar bears were traced and photographed in situ.
This research forms the exhibitions photographic works. Documenting the histories of each bear – its place of capture or shooting, the name of the person responsible, the nature or purpose of the expedition, the bear’s history in captivity, its age at death.
The photographed situations of the polar bears range from cluttered or pristine natural history displays, through collections of colonial artefacts within stately homes to the domestic and unpretentious surroundings of private residences.
Adapted to each location, the touring photographic exhibition has previous exhibited at sites including, The University of Iceland, The Horniman Museum and the Fram Museum, Oslo. nanoq also recently featured as part of HEAT: Art and Climate Change in Melbourne.
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