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The Big Freeze - festival programme

The Big Freeze - festival programme

The Big Freeze art festival ran from 4-14 March 2020

Thursday 4 March

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Festival launch and the European premier of Polar self Portraits_2

  • Live event
  • Time: 6pm, duration 1.5 hours
  • Venue: Crowdcast (join live; register in advance for a reminder). Polar Self Portraits_2 can be accessed at other times on YouTube.
  • Free

Polar self Portraits was conceived by Zsuzsanna Ardó while working as an artist on a High Arctic expedition in 2014. The project set out to investigate and chart the relationship between two iconic art genres: the landscape of the face, the self-portrait, and the face of the land, aka the landscape. In the spirit of the project, the curatorial process for Polar self Portrait reached out and connected artists and their work from six continents. An article published about the project can be read at www.opendemocracy.net.

Polar self Portraits (2016) is now in its second edition: Polar self Portraits_2 (2020). In 2020, composer John Bostock created music inspired by the original soundscape of Arctic glaciers and icebergs and the imaginative artworks in Polar self Portraits. The world premier of the piece took place in November 2020 in the Arctic, at the Ilulissat Art Museum, Greenland. The Polar Museum is delighted to present the European premier, together with an invitation to everyone to participate in the Big Freeze Challenge and create your own polar self portrait.

Polar self Portraits and Polar self Portraits_2 are produced by Creatives without Borders, www.ardo.org.

Friday 5 March

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Artist interview - Dafila Scott

  • Short video, pre-recorded, streamed online
  • Time, 10.30am; duration: 10 minutes
  • Venue Youtubeand over social media channels
  • Free

Dafila Scott was the Friends of SPRI Antarctic Artist in Residence in 2010/11, and also has a family connection to Antarctica as her Grandfather was Captain Robert Falcon Scott. In this short film she reflects on how the time she has spent in Antarctica has influenced her artwork.

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The Big Freeze Exhibition - launch and live video 'tour' with the curator

  • Live event with Q&A; exhibition available to visit online at your own pace
  • Time, 1pm; duration: 45 minutes
  • Venue Crowdcast
  • Free

Join the Polar Museum curator, Charlotte Connelly, as she takes you on a short tour of the Big Freeze Exhibition. The exhibition features work from our festival artists and the Polar Museum's collections, and will be available to visit online throughout the festival, and beyond.

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Artist in Residence in the Arctic - Lesley Burr

  • Short video, pre-recorded, streamed online
  • Time, 7.30; duration: 5 minutes
  • Venue Youtubeand over social media channels
  • Free

A visual exploration of Lesley Burr's 2019 trip to the Arctic as the Friends of SPRI Arctic Artist in Residence.

Saturday 6 March

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Artist techniques - Shelly Perkins

  • Short video, pre-recorded, streamed online
  • Time, 1pm; duration: 5 minutes
  • Venue Youtubeand over social media channels
  • Free

Watch as Shelly Perkins explains how she creates a digital collage inspired by her trip to Antarctica as the 2016/17 Friends of SPRI Antarctic Artist in Residence.

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Artist interview - Othniel Art Oomittuk Jr

  • Short video, pre-recorded, streamed online
  • Time, 7.30pm; duration: 25 minutes
  • Venue Youtubeand over social media channels
  • Free

Othniel Art Oomittuk Jr is an Inupiaq artist born and raised in the village of Point Hope, Alaska. In this short interview he discusses his work, and collections in the Polar Museum from his village of Point Hope, or Tikigak.

Sunday 7 March

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Artist experience - Nicholas Jones

  • Short video, pre-recorded, streamed online
  • Time, 10.30am; duration: 5 minutes
  • Venue Youtubeand over social media channels
  • Free

In this short video, Nicholas Jones reflects on his experiences seeking transcendent and sublime light during his time as the 2018 Friends of SPRI Arctic Artist in Residence.

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Artist interview - John Kelly

  • Short video, pre-recorded, streamed online
  • Time, 1.00pm; duration: 15 minutes
  • Venue Youtubeand over social media channels
  • Free

In this interview, John Kelly reflects on time spent in both polar regions as an artist and introduces his new work, Northland Journeys into the Twilight, which depicts an imaginary journey to the north polar area.

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Live screening of The Matter of the Soul | Symphony, followed by Q&A with artist Kat Austen

  • Live event
  • Time: 6pm, duration 1 hour video artwork, followed by 30 mins discussion
  • Venue: Crowdcast (join live; register in advance for a reminder).
  • Free

The Matter of the Soul is a music, video, installation and performance work. It engenders empathy with the process of dispersal and transformation in the Arctic. The work draws an analogy between human migration, the movement of water from ice to ocean in the Arctic and changing identity online. This event is a screening of a video artwork based around Kat Austen's four-part experimental music symphony.

Compositions for The Matter of the Soul are based around field recordings of the different acidity and salinity of Arctic waters using pH and conductivity meters that have been adapted through circuit bending to generate sound during the process of measurement, combined with footage and snippets of interviews taken in the Arctic. The recordings were made during as part of Kat Austen's Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute Artist in Residence project.

The Matter of the Soul has been supported by Friends of Scott Polar Research Institute, Bonhams, One Ocean Expeditions, Ice Alive, Mettler Toledo, Chemistry Department at UCL and the Cultural Institute at University of Leeds.

Read more about the work on Kat Austen's website.

Monday 8 March

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An Antarctic Graphic Novel - Sarah Airriess

  • Short video, pre-recorded, streamed online
  • Time, 10.30 am; duration: 5 minutes
  • Venue Youtubeand over social media channels
  • Free

In this short film , find out about Sarah Airriess's graphic novel adaptation of Apsley Cherry-Garrard's memoir of the ill-fated 1912 expedition to Antarctica led by Captain Scott.

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Artist Interview - Lindsey Holmes

  • Short video, pre-recorded, streamed online
  • Time, 1.30pm; duration: 15 minutes
  • Venue Youtubeand over social media channels
  • Free

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From the SPRI Collection - Introducing Kanguagiak

  • Short video, pre-recorded, streamed online
  • Time, 7.30pm; duration: 5 minutes
  • Venue Youtubeand over social media channels
  • Free

Tuesday 9 March

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Inside Polar Artists' Mind - panel discussion

  • Pre-recorded video interview
  • Time: 1pm, duration 30 minutes
  • Venue Youtubeand over social media channels
  • Free

Join Polar self Portraits curator Zsuzsanna Ardó, composer John Bostock and artist Clarice Zdanski for a lunchtime panel discussion.

Polar self Portraits was conceived by Zsuzsanna Ardó while working as an artist on a High Arctic expedition in 2014. The project set out to investigate and chart the relationship between two iconic art genres: the landscape of the face, the self-portrait, and the face of the land, aka the landscape. In the spirit of the project, the curatorial process for Polar self Portrait reached out and connected artists and their work from six continents. Clarice Zdanski was one of the artists who responded to the call. An article published about the project can be read at www.opendemocracy.net.

Polar self Portraits (2016) is now in its second edition: Polar self Portraits_2 (2020). In 2020, composer John Bostock created music inspired by the original soundscape of Arctic glaciers and icebergs and the imaginative artworks in Polar self Portraits. The world premier of the piece took place in November 2020 in the Arctic, at the Ilulissat Art Museum, Greenland. The Polar Museum is delighted to present the European premier, together with an invitation to everyone to participate in the Big Freeze Challenge and create your own polar self portrait.

Polar self Portraits and Polar self Portraits_2 are produced by Creatives without Borders, www.ardo.org.

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Short film - Lucy Carty

  • Short video, pre-recorded, streamed online
  • Time, 7.30pm; duration: 10 minutes
  • Venue Youtubeand over social media channels
  • Free

Lucy Carty was the Friends of SPRI Antarctic artist in residence in 2015-16. In this video she tells us about a few of her favourite techniques when working with Encaustic, and explains why she enjoys working with it as a medium.

Wednesday 10 March

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Artist interview - Claudia Myatt

  • Short video, pre-recorded, streamed online
  • Time, 1pm; duration: 20 minutes
  • Venue Youtubeand over social media channels
  • Free

Had things gone to plan, Claudia Myatt would be in the Antarctic around now. But, like so many other things, Covid forced her to change her plans. In this interview, Claudia describes herself as a compulsive sketcher, and talks about some of the techniques she uses to sketch outdoors in the cold and how she thinks they'll help her when she eventually does get to Antarctica.

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A day in the studio - Theo Crutchley-Mack

  • Short video, pre-recorded, streamed online
  • Time, 7.30pm; duration: 5 minutes
  • Venue Youtubeand over social media channels
  • Free

In this short film, Theo Crutchley-Mack shares a day in his studio with us as he works on a painting of two sealing ships inspired by his time in South Georgia as the South Georgia Artist in Residence.

Thursday 11 March

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Artist interview - Andrew Lansley

  • Short video, pre-recorded, streamed online
  • Time, 10.30am; duration: 15 minutes
  • Venue Youtubeand over social media channels
  • Free

Andrew Lansley was the 2018-19 Friends of SPRI Antarctic Artist in Residence, and travelled to the Antarctic peninsula on board HMS Protector. In this interview he talks about why he applied and what he residency meant to him as an artist.

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Short film - Christine Finn

  • Short video, pre-recorded, streamed online
  • Time, 1pm; duration: 5 minutes
  • Venue Youtubeand over social media channels
  • Free

In this short film Christine Finn tells a very personal story of her travels to the Arctic in a piece of spoken word narrative, accompanied by photographs of her experiences.

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Art in Isolation, live panel discussion with Q&A

  • Live event
  • Time 6pm, duration 1 hour
  • Venue: Crowdcast
  • Free

This time last year, the phrases self-isolation and social-distancing had just started to pepper our language as a global pandemic took hold. How does this kind of isolation compare with life in remote polar regions? And how does that affect the way we depict the poles in art and culture? Join our guests for a live discussion about isolation, art and the polar regions.

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?

Stephen Roberts is a quaternary geologist working at the British Antarctic Survey. His current research focuses on reconstructing past environments on the Antarctic Peninsula, the Sub-Antarctic Islands, East Antarctica and South America to understand past changes in climate, ice sheet extent and thickness and sea level. Steve had an experience of extreme isolation while working in the field in Antarctica, becoming stranded for several days due to a change in the weather.

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.

Friday 12 March

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Artist interview - Shelly Perkins

  • Short video, pre-recorded, streamed online
  • Time, 10.30am; duration: 15 minutes
  • Venue Youtubeand over social media channels
  • Free

Shelly Perkins is a wildlife artist, and was the Friends of SPRI 2016-17 Antarctic Artist in Residence. In this interview she talks about her trip to Antarctica on board HMS Protector and how it has influenced her work.

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Short Film - Nick Romeril

  • Short video, pre-recorded, streamed online
  • Time, 1pm; duration: 5 minutes
  • Venue Youtubeand over social media channels
  • Free

In this short film Jersey based artist Nick Romeril presents some of his large oil paintings, produced following his 2017-18 artist residency in Antarctica, and discusses the huge scale of the landscapes and icescapes he encountered on his trip.

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Artist interview - Lesley Burr

  • Short video, pre-recorded, streamed online
  • Time, 7.30pm; duration: 15 minutes
  • Venue Youtubeand over social media channels
  • Free

Lesley Burr travelled to the Arctic in 2019 as the Friends of SPRI Arctic Artist in Residence. In this interview she talks about seeing Inuit artists at work producing stonecut prints and some of her techniques when while on her trip.

Saturday 13 March

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From the SPRI Collections - Siberian carvings

  • Short video, pre-recorded, streamed online
  • Time, 10.30am; duration: 10 minutes
  • Venue Youtubeand over social media channels
  • Free

Eleanor Peers is the Arctic Information Specialist in the SPRI library. In this film she introduces three ivory models made by Siberian indigenous communities, including a large ink stand given to the Institute in 1956.

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Short film - Darren Rees

  • Short video, pre-recorded, streamed online
  • Time, 1pm; duration: 10 minutes
  • Venue Youtubeand over social media channels
  • Free

Darren Rees is a wildlife artist and naturalist, and in this short film he talks about his extraordinary encounters with wildlife, and how he captured them while in the Falkland Islands and Antarctica.

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From the SPRI Collection - The art of Emanuel A. Petersen

  • Short video, pre-recorded, streamed online
  • Time, 7.30pm; duration: 5 minutes
  • Venue Youtubeand over social media channels
  • Free

Join the Polar Museum's Collections Manager Alex Partridge for a discussion of Emanuel A. Petersen's painting The skerries at Egedesminde colony-district, Greenland' from our collection.

Sunday 14 March

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Native Spirit Festival logo

Film night and Panel Discussion with Film Makers

Presented in partnership with Native Spirit Foundation www.nativespiritfoundation.org

Breaths

Nyla Innuksuk; 2016 | 4 min; English. Canada.

In this evocative short documentary, Inuk singer-songwriter and humanitarian Susan Aglukark weaves together stories of artistry, family, and belonging as she explores the complex cultural shifts of the last 50 years of Inuit life. Turning her lens on the turbulence of colonial transition, director Nyla Innuksuk examines the forces that shaped Aglukark's voice and how that voice is now being translated for a new generation of Inuit artists.

Produced by the National Film Board of Canada in co-operation with the National Arts Centre and the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation on the occasion of the 2016 Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.

Three Thousand

Asinnajaq; 2017 | 14 min; Inuktitut, English. Canada

In this short film, Inuk artist Asinnajaq plunges us into a sublime imaginary universe—14 minutes of luminescent, archive-inspired cinema that recast the present, past and future of her people in a radiant new light.

Diving into the NFB's vast archive, she parses the complicated cinematic representation of the Inuit, harvesting fleeting truths and fortuitous accidents from a range of sources—newsreels, propaganda, ethnographic docs, and work by Indigenous filmmakers. Embedding historic footage into original animation, she conjures up a vision of hope and beautiful possibility.

Watch the film's trailer.

Tunniit: Retracing The Lines Of Inuit Tattoos

Alethea Arnaquq-Baril; 2011 | 50 min; Inuktitut, English with English subtitles.

Tunniit: Retracing The Lines Of Inuit Tattoos is the incredibly personal, poignant and political documentary from Inuk filmmaker Alethea Arnaquq-Baril (whose film ANGRY INUK recently won the Audience Award at Hot Docs 2016). Inuit traditional face tattoos have been forbidden for a century, and almost forgotten. Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, together with long-time friend and activist Aaju Peter, is determined to uncover the mystery and meaning behind this beautiful ancient tradition. Together they embark on an adventure through Arctic communities, speaking with elders and recording the stories of a once popularized female art form. Past meets present in this intimate account of one woman's journey towards self-empowerment and cultural understanding.

Learn more about the film and watch the film's trailer.