The Elysium Artists for the Arctic Exhibition opened in Singapore on April 5, 2017 with ocean scientists, Dr. Sylvia A. Earle and, Photographer, Michael Aw addressing guests and signing books. The exhibition features a collection of images, curated by Rosamund Kidman Cox, Peter Ong, and Miriam Stein Battles. The featured photographs and paintings are the culmination of a three week journey across the High Arctic.
Photo Courtesy of Ruban Kumar
The expedition, which I took part in as a contributing photographer, took place over August and September of 2015, consisted of 66 team members from 19 countries. Some of the members included legends such as Dr. Sylvia Earle, David Doubilet, Jennifer Hayes, Michael Aw, Ernie Brooks II, Wyland, and Leandro Blanco. Along with the other passionate team members this multi-faceted interpretation of the Arctic came together. Painters, cinematographers, photographers, and musicians united to create this body of work In order to generate awareness for climate change––through the arts.
Dr. Sylvia A. Earle and Michael Aw presenting the Elysium book
The exhibit can be viewed between April 5 and April 16 at Ion Orchard (Level 4) in Singapore and will then move on to Marina Mandarin Hotel Gallery (Level 5) through May 8, 2017.
Last evening, fellow Sedna Epic Assistant Expedition Leader Renata Rojas and I, presented a short video highlighting some of the expeditions experiences in and around Iqaluit, Nunavut last summer. The video was previewed by attendees of the Long Island Diver’s Association (LIDA) Film Festival at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.
The short film highlights our all-women expedition team, Sedna Epic, along with Inuit elders and young women as we explore the frigid waters of Frobisher Bay, Nunavut. Through our ocean educational outreach programs including mobile aquariums and ROV operations, our team helps to bring the ocean to eye level for the youngest members of Iqaluit’s community.
ELYSIUM ARTISTS FOR THE ARCTIC is a project that combines the expertise of some of the world’s top scientists, artists, and explorers to create a multi-faceted interpretation of the Arctic. Artists for the Arctic hopes to inspire greater appreciation, understanding, and love for this critically important part of our planet, while drawing attention to the impacts of climate change. This icy ecosystem is regarded as one of the most enchanting wilderness regions of our planet, yet volatile and under severe threat from the warming of the world’s climate. This expedition promises to deliver the most awe-inspiring and stunning visual representation ever seen of the Arctic. The sights, sounds, and science captured by the Elysium Team will inspire ways to preserve and protect life at the top of the world through art, education, and outreach.
THE MISSION: The Explorer Team’s mission is to encapsulate the splendor of the Arctic through the sights and sounds of this enthralling region, into one exquisite volume, a film and exhibitions around the world in eight major cities in 2016-2017. Elysium’s science team will record and study the impacts of disappearing sea ice in the Arctic, inspiring, educating, and engaging the public about the wonders of the Arctic and its importance to our global climate. Through cross-cultural dialogue and educational outreach programs, Artists for the Arctic aims to exchange knowledge with Inuit groups and Elders about their home and the animals that live there. These first-hand accounts will be broadcast through a series of exhibitions worldwide, global social networks, and media channels, inspiring conservation for the diverse life of the Arctic as well as drawing attention to the impacts of climate change, ocean change, and disappearing sea ice. Only with your support will we be able to spread this critical message around the globe. You can have a direct impact on the way the world sees and understands the Arctic, and consequently on how we protect this precious polar region in the near future.
Elysium Artists for the Arctic is a carbon neutral expedition funded by Ocean Geographic Society.
WHAT IS NEEDED: We need to maximize our time in the Arctic, and what we can accomplish will directly depend on how much money is raised in the next 2 months. Our goal for this campaign is to raise $350,000.
We projected $80, 000 to bring in specialized scientific equipment: Open source ROVs with HD cameras, temperature and salinity instruments, mobile aquarium and scientist to bring in the video plankton recorder, laboratory and plankton sampling equipment. We’ll need $85,000 to create and produce the Elysium limited edition book and movie, $25,000 for the Elysium Arctic Report, $20,000 to produce the full soundtrack, and $150,000 to transport and curate exhibition for eight cities.
Please consider donating to this one of a kind project. Click on the Polar Bear below and you’ll be redirected to the Indiegogo Campaign Site to learn more about the interesting rewards for getting involved:
In late August, early September my husband and I took a short flight from Wroclaw, Poland (where we currently live) to the Tri-City up along the Baltic Sea. We had always heard great things about the region however after living in Poland for a year and a half we somehow still hadn’t made it up there. With Santi as one of the equipment sponsors for an upcoming expedition to the Arctic, and with their headquarters so close by in Gdynia, we decided to make our way north to personally place our dry suit orders. Flying in on Saturday afternoon and leaving Monday evening we had roughly 48 hours to see the highlights of the three cities (Sopot, Gdansk, & Gdynia) and get fitted for our first drysuits. It was a hectic but exciting trip!
We had a hotel booked in Sopot since it is situated between Gdansk and Gdynia, and quickly realised it is the heart and soul of the Tri-City. The salty air, long expanse of the sandy shore and wide array of seaside restaurants provided a nice break from landlocked Wroclaw. With Europe’s longest boardwalk just outside of our hotel, I must admit it felt as if I was back at home along the Eastern Seaboard. The three cities were definitely worth the visit and from what we learned there are some really cool wreck dives along the coast. Since the Baltic isn’t known for its warm temperatures we would first need some drysuits before getting involved with any cold water diving.
Monday morning, once inside Santi’s headquarters we were immediately impressed with both the hospitality and layout of the office/workshop. The atmosphere was very welcoming and also visually pleasing. Highly saturated diving images and graffiti art were splashed across the white walls while a large assortment of dive gear seemed to be calling out to us.
The first order of business was the measurements and there were many. This was our first time ordering dry suits and we were probably a bit too particular but they are really too expensive to have mistakes made. It was an interesting and rather warm experience as we layered ourselves in to thermals, heated vests, under suits and then the outer shells. Surely I would be warm in the Arctic but once everything was on I struggled to understand how exactly I was supposed to move; let alone dive and photograph in such an alien environment. If you’d like to learn more about the upcoming expedition, Artists for the Arctic; click here: http://www.elysiumepic.underwaterartists.com
Passionate about the natural world both above and below the surface, my drive to document and share its wonders is fuelled by innate curiosity and wild imagination. Never content in one place for too long, my wanderlust to travel and dive the globe enables a never-ending source of material and inspiration. Sharing these experiences both photographically and prosaically has become the way in which I express my love for our blue planet.