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The Big Freeze - artists

The Big Freeze - artists

Sarah Airriess

Sarah Airriess is currently working on a graphic novel adaptation of Apsley Cherry-Garrard's book The Worst Journey in the World. The book is a remarkable account of the Terra Nova expedition, led by Captain Scott until his tragic death alongside his companions on the return from the South Pole. Despite the expedition being isolated far from home and help, the story Cherry-Garrard tells is of companionship and camaraderie. | Patreon twitter linkInstagram link

Alethea Arnaquq-Baril

Alethea Aggiuq Arnaquq-Baril is an independent filmmaker based in Iqaluit, NU. She graduated from Sheridan College in Ontario and received animation training at the Banff Centre. Arnaquq-Baril runs a film production company called Unikkaat Studios Inc. out of Iqaluit, through which she has worked on many successful film projects. Arnaquq-Baril works as a director, producer and animator. She uses film to research, explore and document Inuit cultural practices and to bring attention to Inuit issues. Her recent film, Angry Inuk (2016), addresses the issues with global campaigns against the seal hunt and the lack of understanding activists have of the importance of the seal hunt to Inuit livelihood. Her films have been screened in major Canadian and international festivals and selected for multiple awards. Angry Inuk was selected for the Audience Choice award at both Hot Docs Festival 2016 and the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and won the People's Choice Award at TIFF's Canada's Top Ten Film Festival 2017.

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Zsuzsanna Ardó

Zsuzsanna Ardó is human by inclination, humorous, curious and creative by nature — and an award-winning visual artist, curator and writer by profession. She has served on juries, curated international projects and exhibited her work at mainstream and alternative spaces e.g. Antarctica, the Arctic, British, Welsh and European Parliament, European Commission, Florentine opera house, banks of the Seine, Google and the Royal Institution. Represented the UK in the Unesco artist residency. Her work crosses genres and boundaries between drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, film, installations and writing. The Hat: Arendt Meets Heidegger, her opera libretto, and her poems have been set to music by composers and premiered by ensembles internationally.


Asinnajaq, also known as Isabella Rose Weetaluktuk, is a visual artist, filmmaker, writer and curator based in Montreal, QC. Asinnajaq's practice is grounded in research and collaboration, which includes working with other artists, friends and family. In 2016 she worked with the National Film Board of Canada's archive to source historical and contemporary Inuit films and colonial representations of Inuit in film. The footage she pulled is included in her short film "Three Thousand." The film was nominated for Best Short Documentary at the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. asinnajaq was a part of the curatorial team for the Canadian Pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale and was long listed for the prestigious Sobey Art Award in April 2020.

Kat Austen

Kat Austen is a person. In her artistic practice, she focusses on environmental issues. She melds disciplines and media, creating sculptural and new media installations, performances and participatory work. Austen's field research has included a voyage around the Canadian High Arctic as Artist in the Arctic 2017 for Friends of Scott Polar Research Institute (University of Cambridge) for her project The Matter of the Soul. In 2018 Austen was selected as inaugural Cultural Fellow in Art and Science at the Cultural Institute, University of Leeds for the same project. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Art and Artist Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam. Austen has been awarded residencies internationally, including the European Media Artists in Residence Exchange at WRO Art Center, NYU Shanghai, ArtOxygen Mumbai, LAStheatre, the Clipperton Project and Utter! Spoken word. twitter linkInstagram link

Kaddy Benyon

Kaddy Benyon was born in Cambridge and grew up in Suffolk. In 2010 she was shortlisted for the inaugural Picador Poetry Prize. She won the Crashaw Prize in 2011 with the manuscript for her debut collection, Milk Fever (Salt Publishing). Kaddy is a Granta New Poet, and was Invited Poet at The Polar Museum in Cambridge from 2012-15 where she collaborated with costume designer Lindsey Holmes on a text-and-textiles exhibition, The Snow Queen Retold. Kaddy had a short residency with The Bothy Project on the Scottish island of Eigg in January 2016 where she wrote poems toward her second collection, The Tidal Wife (Salt Publishing, 2018). Between 2017 and 2019, Kaddy collaborated with artist Miranda Boulton on a project called A Painter & A Poet: Female Creativity and the Art of Friendship, a collection of poems and paintings produced in response to the friendship between Winifred Nicholson and Kathleen Raine. Previously, Kaddy worked as a television scriptwriter and wrote over seventy episodes of Hollyoaks and Grange Hill. She currently works as a mentor to students with disabilities at the University of Cambridge. twitter link

John Bostock

composes concert music and performs as a jazz musician. Born in Sydney, Australia, he has been living in Israel since 1987. His works have been performed by the Israel Contemporary Players, Ensemble Meitar, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Israel Contemporary String Quartet, the Musica Nova Ensemble, the Arko Symphonic Project and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. John composed a piece of music to accompany the Polar self Portraits film, which itself re-imagines the boundaries of 'landscape' and 'self-portrait' in the context of climate change using contributions from artists from six continents. Audiences have seen the film in a wide variety of venues, including an art museum in the Arctic, research stations in Antarctica, contemporary concerts in NY, universities in Albania, England, Macedonia, an old watchtower in Croatia, a philosophers' salon in England, and an art gallery in Morocco. The project's second edition launches the festival.

Lesley Burr

Lesley Burr works with oil, drawing, prints and ceramics. Her art practice is inspired by remote landscapes influenced by the natural environment and the inter-connection with nature. She has travelled widely and has lived in the remote Shetland Islands and the west coast of Scotland where the light and interplay of nature and landscape is observed. A graduate in painting from Glasgow School of Art and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, MA in Public art and design, her creative output is varied and prolific including large scale commissions and exhibitions. She is one of the "Glasgow Girls" involved in the resurgence of figurative painting emerging from Glasgow in the 1980s. Lesley was selected by the Friends of Scott Polar Research Institute as the 2019 Arctic artist in residence to the Canadian arctic, supported by One Ocean Expeditions and Bonhams. She is working on new oils and prints using the sketches and photographs from the expedition and is planning to return to the Arctic for a future Greenland voyage. Facebook link Instagram link

Lucy Carty

Lucy Carty is a mixed media artist living and working in London. Her work is informed by the earth's ever-changing natural environment, continually being modelled, carved, and coloured by the laws of nature. These natural forces and processes - gravity, tectonic movement, flooding, weathering and erosion for example - inspire her methods and use of materials, often resulting in complex, layered artworks that are interwoven and reworked like palimpsests, aged over time. In 2014 she returned from a trip to Iceland, where volcanic and geothermal activity make for a dynamic, volatile landscape and translated her experiences there into encaustic and mixed media artworks quite literally made of fire.

In 2016 Lucy travelled to Antarctica with The Royal Navy, aboard HMS Protector as Artist in Residence for the Friends of The Scott Polar Research Institute. The programme, which was sponsored by Bonhams, provided her with a unique opportunity to experience firsthand one of the world's most spectacular landscapes. twitter linkInstagram link

Theo Crutchley-Mack

Theo Crutchley-Mack studied BA (Hons) Drawing at Falmouth University in Cornwall. This location's history allowed him to develop a keen interest in ruins and abandonment, which is now linked closely to his practice. The detrimental effects of nature on manmade surfaces leave small insights into the fragmented history of abandoned landscapes. Theo spends many hours studying these places by drawing and painting in all variations of weather and light. These drawings then inform more sustained works created in his studio at a later date. The obsession with abandonment and decay is a consistent theme in Theo's work.

In 2017-18 Theo was the South Georgia Heritage Trust Artist in Residence for 2 months in Grytviken. Facebook link Instagram link

Christine Finn

Christine Finn is a Channel Island born writer, photographer, and print and broadcast journalist, and draws on a range of media for her art work. She has lived and worked in the Arctic, and most recently has spent the pandemic living in Paris in a room just 8m2. In her work, she is steered by two main enquiries: what is 'home'? and how does technology relate to art, culture and remoteness?

Julian Grater

Julian Grater has been obsessed by ice and the high Arctic for many years. The proposition in his current expansive body of work, collectively known as The Lichen Factor, is a psychologising of place, exploring the far north as a state of mind. Much of Julian's recent photography and drawing, which informs his studio painting practice, was generated during a number of residency programmes in western Greenland and more recently as the 2016 Friends of SPRI Arctic Artist in Residence, during which he made a circumnavigation of Spitsbergen on the Russian icebreaker and research vessel, Akademik Sergey Vavilov. The high Arctic is a zone poised on the threshold of rapid and dramatic changes. Julian hopes to open up awareness and debate, whilst encouraging interest in this dynamic environment and its people. Julian was back travelling, researching and working in Greenland during the winter of 2020 during which he developed a large number of Inuit portraits, a series of drawings created in part with glacial ice meltwater. An evolving body of work Arctic Mirage is currently under development and scheduled for a touring exhibition in 2022/23.

He has exhibited extensively in the UK and internationally and key exhibitions have included: Hayward Gallery, London. John Hansard Gallery, Southampton. Wolverhampton City Art Gallery. Harris Museum Preston. Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter. Reading Museum. Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth. Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery. Oxford University Museum of Natural History. He has undertaken and participated in a number of international residency and professional development programs in Greenland. Alaska, USA. Canada. Norway and Australia, a number of which have been supported by Arts Council England. His work is held in both public and private collections in the UK and overseas.

Julian has a new website under construction and can be contacted at

Lindsey Holmes

Lindsey has worked with Museums across the UK for the last ten years making costumes for exhibitions on everything from The Titanic to Tyrannosaurs. She has run workshops and lectures on costume both nationally and internationally, and her work has featured in exhibitions, film and theatre productions both nationally and internationally.

Linsey specialises in creating costumes and developing costume based projects and exhibitions for museums and heritage sites.

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Nyla Innuksuk

Nyla Innuksuk is a Canadian film director, writer and producer. Nyla was born in Igloolik and spent her childhood growing up in Iqaluit, and her work has focused on short documentary and fiction films focusing on Inuit and Indigenous peoples' stories. Her films are portraits of communities and community members in the Arctic, with a strong commitment to including community members in production phases of a film. Her films often also have a focus on the youth in Inuit communities, and the social problems they face.

Nicholas Jones

Nicholas Jones studied Fine Art at Bristol Polytechnic where his degree show paintings revealed a deep appreciation of Samuel Palmer and a concern for luminosity. Landscape, abstraction, colour and light have long been the dominant themes of Nick's painting. Taking inspiration from the countryside around his Somerset home, from visits to the Lake District and Scotland and dreams of places further afield, he has sought to evoke the world of nature, of hills, mountains, water, skies, trees, and above all, light. Over time these 'abstracted landscapes' slowly became more simplified – increasingly pure celebrations of colour and light. Between 2014 and 2017 Nick made a number of visits to Finnish Lapland culminating in over sixty paintings attempting to evoke the other-worldly beauty of the Aurora Borealis.

More recently Nick has been working on a series of Arctic paintings. He is fascinated by how in the Arctic such a rich and varied beauty can be created from the simplest of elements: ice, rock, water and light. His appointment in 2018 as the Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute's Arctic Artist in Residence provided him with a wonderful opportunity to immerse himself in the light and landscape of the region and was the catalyst for a significant new body of work. Instagram link

John Kelly

Artist and writer John Kelly has worked extensively in the polar areas. His Antarctic exhibition, Due South, was shown at a number of museums and public art galleries including the Natural History Museum, London. His forensic enquiries and poetry provide an original approach to our understanding of 'place' in the landscape of remote locations. Some of John Kelly's recent work relates to the act of travelling. Through a number of residences and fellowships in the Antarctic and Arctic regions this work has become a measure of the collaboration that takes place between art and science when conducted in the field. John was the Friends of SPRI Antarctic Artist in Residence 2013/14.

Andrew Lansley

Andrew generates work from whichever source is most directly accessible. This may entail a variety of material abstractions or work directly related to impressions and experience of the landscape. The source of his inspiration is the fabric of nature. Paint, as earth and water, is regarded as a natural element in itself, rather than as a simple a tool for imitating nature. Paintings are often conceived in a moment and then take time to unfold. Conversely, paintings are also 'unconceived' as initial plans are let go in response to the physical nature of the medium and the unfolding unpredictability of creation. In using raw pigments combined with a variety of mediums he achieves a direct connection to the elemental quality of landscape. Working in this way can be explosively fast and at other times may be meticulously analytical. Andrew was selected by the Friends of The Scott Polar Research Institute to be their resident artist in Antarctica for 2019. Facebook link Instagram link

Claudia Myatt

Claudia spends most of her life drawing, or painting, or writing, or teaching other people to paint and draw. She has a particular obsession with boats and the sea, so you'll see her work in books and sailing magazines, as well as on the walls of her studio in Suffolk. Home is an elderly tug boat up a creek and Claudia blogs occasionally about life afloat, sailing, drawing and anything else. Claudia should have been in Antarctica as the Friends of SPRI Artist in Residence around the time of the Big Freeze Festival, but covid had other ideas, so she hopes to travel next year instead.

Art Oomittuk Jr.

Othniel Art Oomittuk Jr. is an Iñupiat artist. He was born in Point Hope and later lived in Barrow, also on Alaska's North Slope. Oomittuk's work draws on his Iñupiat culture, and often features masks and shamanic transformations. Oomittuk is primarily a carver who prefers to work with a variety of woods and often integrates the grain as part of the overall aesthetic. His subject matter focuses on the people of the Arctic with an emphasis on faces as a reference to the tradition of mask making.

Shelly Perkins

Shelly is a freelance wildlife artist who's passion for wildlife, travel and conservation are constant factors in the development and realisation of her work. She aims to emulate both the beauty and fragility of the natural world and present that to her audience in an accessible way through her work. As well as showing her work in galleries Shelly also undertakes commercial commissions for illustration work, her list of clients includes BBC Wildlife Magazine, The National Trust, The RSPB, WWF, Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, The Vincent Wildlife Trust and The Radio Times. In 2017 Shelly was chosen as the Scott Polar research institute's Antarctic Artist in Residence, her work from the trip will be used to educate people about the beauty but extreme fragility of this incredible part of the world. twitter linkFacebook link Instagram link

Darren Rees

Darren Rees was born in Hampshire in 1961, and he studied Mathematics at Southampton University teaching the subject for a short time before pursuing painting full time. As an artist he is self-taught. His work has attracted many awards including the Natural World and RSPB Fine Art Awards. He has also been a winner in the Swarovski/Birdwatch and BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year competitions. His first solo book Bird Impressions was greeted by much critical acclaim and was a runner up in the Natural History Book of the Year. More recently, Darren was appointed Artist in Residence 2014-15 by Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute, traveling to Antarctica with the Royal Navy. His experiences were documented in his book Ice Bound (Mascot Media). In 2018 he was part of Chris Packham's Bioblitz team that toured the UK visiting fifty reserves in ten days, with Darren producing artwork at each site. twitter linkInstagram link

Nicholas Romeril

Born in Jersey, Channel Islands, and having studied at Camberwell College of Art and Design in London, Nicholas has travelled extensively during his career as an artist. During his time aboard HMS Protector for the Friends of SPRI Artist in Residence 2017-18, the ship was temporarily home to a number of guests including representatives of the World Wildlife Fund and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The differing needs of the people on board meant that the ship criss-crossed the peninsula and travelled some 3,500 miles in total. Facebook link Instagram link

Dafila Scott

After training and working as a zoologist, Dafila Scott turned to drawing and painting, studying under Robin Child at Lydgate Art Research Centre. Much of her work is inspired by wildlife and landscape and features animals or places with which she has become familiar. In 2014 she won the Birdwatch - Swarovski prize at the Society of Wildlife Artists annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries. Her work often arises from regular visits to Wales and to the Kalahari. However, she is equally happy to gain inspiration at home in the garden or on the surrounding fenland. Dafila was the Friends of SPRI Antarctic Artist in Residence 2010-11.

Emma Stibbon

Emma Stibbon RA works primarily in drawing and print on paper depicting environments that are undergoing transformation including the polar regions, volcanoes, deserts, coastal and urban locations. Her approach to landscape is driven by a desire to understand how human activity and the forces of nature shape our surroundings. She does this through location based research often working alongside geologists and scientists, and in the studio where information is transformed into large scale drawn and printed artworks. Recognised as an artist working primarily in drawing and print, Emma Stibbon's art practice investigates the histories and geological narratives of place. Emma studied Fine Art BA (Hons) at Goldsmiths, London and Research Fine Art MA at the University of the West of England. She travels widely with her work and was the Antarctic Artist in Residence with the Friends of SPRI for 2012-13.

Clarice Zdanski

Clarice Zdanski is an artist, art historian, art educator, writer and translator on art. Her research work in art history, which ranges from the Italian Renaissance to art and travel in late nineteenth century Europe and current practices in art education, has always been concerned with how art is studied and its place in society. Zdanski's writing on art has been published in scholarly journals and websites, and her art work is in private collections in Europe and the USA. Clarice contributed an artwork to the Polar self Portraits project.

Clarice Zdanski's website