Seven artists explore the formidable beauty and problematic history of the Antarctic Regions.
12th May - 3rd July 2011
The Stables Gallery
Orleans House Gallery, Riverside, Twickenham TW1 3DJ
Phone: 020 8831 6000 Fax: 020 8744 0501
The Deep South exhibition continues the journey it started last Autumn at Dulwich College. The work - paintings in watercolour and oil, photography, pottery, hand-made prints, installation and photomontage - was extremely well received and the artists are delighted to be able to bring it to the wonderful Stables Gallery at Orleans House in Twickenham.
Six of the artists met when they voyaged by sea to the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands in February 2009. The seventh had already and, in fact, continues to visit. This is an exhibition of personal reactions to what we saw and felt.
The exuberance of the natural world, the extraordinary history of man's survival in this perilous region and the sheer majesty of the landscape are inspiration enough for any artist.
We were inspired by the incredible beauty of the wild, icy, unimaginably remote landscape; the chill, raging ocean; cathedrals of blue ice; fleets of penguins porpoising under the keel of the ship. The sheer abundance of wildlife was spectacular - whole beaches crammed with different types of penguins, fur and elephant seals. Humpback and Fin Whales spouted fountains of seawater, and curious penguins and baby fur seals investigated our bags as we sat on wind-ravaged South Georgia beaches.
At Grytviken, on South Georgia, we wandered amongst the ruins of the whaling industry. Stranded harpoon boats list amongst weathered brash ice. King penguins, fur seals and countless sea birds live amidst the squalor of other crumbling sites. Most poignantly Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried there. Antarctic pioneer and heroic leader, famed for the successful salvation in 1916 of the crew of the stricken Endurance - for many of us he was the inspiration for our journey.
Deep South - like the continent it salutes - is a living entity. You may go with an itinerary in mind but the art decides its own destination. And in doing so reveals things you could never have expected. We were privileged to make such a journey and would like to share our wonder and concerns through our work.