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Photographer Florian Schulz’s Arctic Vision

July 25th, 2011 | By | Filed in Art, IN THE NEWS

National Geographic is featuring some incredible images of polar bears by photographer Florian Schulz, alongside a story by Susan McGrath. View it online on their website, along with this great behind the scenes video of how the images were shot.

Florian Schulz is not only a renowned photographer who’s traveled with Arctic Kingdom several times in the past (on our Floe Edge safari as well as an excursion to Baffin Island); he’s an outspoken conservationist who shares his work online at his personal site as well as through videos like the one below…

Special Exhibits, Canadian Arctic Exploration

July 18th, 2011 | By | Filed in Art, IN THE NEWS

A special exhibit is currently showing at the Canadian Museum of Civilization on The Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913–1918. This exhibit, presented in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of Nature, covers not only the broad adventure, but paints a day to day picture of what life was like on an early arctic expedition.

The Expedition was composed of an international group of scientists and sailors. Countries of birth included Australia, Estonia, Portugal, Norway, Holland, Scotland, Canada and the United States. Also invaluable to the Expedition were guides, hunters, seamstresses and other personnel recruited from Inupiat communities in Alaska, and Inuvialuit and Copper Inuit communities on the Canadian side of the border.

For those of us geographically unable to make a visit in person, there is also this wonderful virtual exhibit – Northern People, Northern Knowledge.

The Arctic Light, Captured By Terje Sorgjerd

May 31st, 2011 | By | Filed in Art, IN THE NEWS

Artist Terje Sorgjerd shares another video, capturing the stunning beauty of the high north. This film was shot between April 29 and May 10th, 2011 on the Lofoten archipelago in Norway.

He comments on the logistics of this work –

My favorite natural phenomenon is one I do not even know the name of, even after talking to meteorologists and astrophysicists I am none the wiser.What I am talking about I have decided to call The Arctic Light and it is a natural phenomenon occurring 2-4 weeks before you can see the Midnight Sun.

The Sunset and Sunrise are connected in one magnificent show of color and light lasting from 8 to 12 hours. The sun is barely going below the horizon before coming up again. This is the most colorful light that I know, and the main reason I have been going up there for the last 4 years, at the exact same time of year, to photograph. Based on previous experience, I knew this was going to be a very
difficult trip. Having lost a couple of cameras and some other equipment up there before, it was crucial to bring an extra set of everything. I also made sure I had plenty of time in case something went wrong. If you can imagine roping down mountain cliffs, or jumping around on slippery rocks covered in seaweed with 2 tripods, a rail, a controller, camera, lenses, filters and rigging for 4-5 hour long sequences at a time, and then having to calculate the rise and fall of the tides in order to capture the essence – it all proved bit of a challenge.

Don’t miss our previous posted film by Terje, of the Aurora Borealis.

Toronto’s Museum Of Inuit Art

April 30th, 2011 | By | Filed in Art, IN THE NEWS, INUIT, Inuit Culture/Art

I may need to plan a trip just to check out the Toronto Museum of Inuit Art. You can view a taste of their expansive collections online, and they’ve also posted an ‘Introduction to Inuit Art’ document on the website well worth investigating.

Introductory Guide to Inuit Art. The Guide offers a scholarly yet concise and accessible introduction to the history and range of Inuit art, as well as the museum and its collection. Useful in conjunction with a museum visit or simply on its own, the guide also features a list of major public collections in North America, a statistical look at Nunavut, an introduction to Inuktitut and syllabics, in addition to in-depth information about the Inuit co-operatives. Whether you are exploring Inuit art for the first time or are an avid enthusiast, MIA’s Introductory Guide has something for everyone.

Permanent collections area, photo via the Museum of Inuit Art website

Nunastaiq News Online has covered the museum as well, posting several photos of the design award-winning interior and has this to say about the space –

In the museum are more than 300 pieces of Inuit art spanning the last 1,000 years— and most of its collection is on loan.

The older art, dating from the Thule period (1000 to 1850) is mostly unidentified work showing a traditional lifestyle.

But, as you move through the museum’s sections, the art through the 1800s changes, influenced by the Inuit trade and contact with Western civilization.

Most Torontonians — most southerners for that matter — don’t know much about Inuit art, Jane Schmidt (the museum’s assistant curator,) says.

But once they see it, she adds, they’re hooked.

“You get people who have been to the Arctic for a week and have been profoundly affected and impressed by it,” she says. “I think what the museum does it show the variety of work (from across the North.)

“Whether they’re tourists or locals, they’re affected by the soul of it.”

‘The Magnetic North’ By Sara Wheeler

April 27th, 2011 | By | Filed in Art, IN THE NEWS is sharing several exclusive excerpts from a new book by Sara Wheeler titled The Magnetic North. The book shares the author’s journey through the Arctic territories belonging to Russia, Finland, Denmark, Canada, and America. Sara’s prose conveys an honest appreciation for the landscape and people she encounters as well as discussing the very real challenges faced in the Arctic today. This book has been well reviewed, and looks to be an interesting account of the uniqueness of Arctic travel.

The Magnetic North is available on as well as in bookstores –

Smashing through the Arctic Ocean with the crew of a Russian icebreaker, shadowing the endless trans-Alaskan pipeline with a band of rowdy truckers, herding reindeer with the Lapps, and visiting the deceptive lands of the Gulag, Wheeler brings the Arctic’s many contradictions to life. The Magnetic North’s stunning descriptions and revelatory insights create a masterful portrait of a region growing daily in global importance.

From an excerpt on

Fifteen years ago I spent some time in Antarctica. Its geographical unity and unownedness attracted the younger me, as did the lack of an indigenous human presence, and the inability to sustain terrestrial life. It was a metaphor for a terra incognita, an image of an alternate and better world. I was prejudiced against the complicated, life-infested North. Time passed, and in 2002 I traveled briefly with the Sámi, as Lapps are more properly known, and their reindeer. I started thinking about the collar of lands around the Arctic Ocean. Fragmentation, disputed ownership, indigenous populations immobilized on the threshold of change—those very things Antarctica lacked appealed to the older me. Especially fragmentation. When I thought about the Arctic, in my mind’s eye I glimpsed an elegy for the uncertainties and doubts that are the chaperones of age. Was the Arctic a counterweight to the Antarctic? Or was it just a frozen mirror image, and I who had changed?

The Arctic is our neighbor, part of us. What could be less romantic? And the world seems a wearier place than it did a decade and a half ago. It is the Arctic that captures the spirit of the times. The Arctic is the lead player in the drama of climate change, and polar bears are its poster boys. So I went. On a speck of land in the northern reaches of the Arctic Ocean, the encircling water chaotic with floes, I heard a snow bunting sing. Not a single songbird breeds on the Antarctic continent. The sweet trill of the small black-and-white bird brought the Arctic to life.

Inuit Art Exhibition Shared Online

April 26th, 2011 | By | Filed in Art, IN THE NEWS, INUIT, Inuit Culture/Art

Old Qulliq Being Carried by a Woman, image via the Exhibit website, Winnipeg Art Gallery

The Winnipeg Art Gallery has created a beautiful website to share their recent exhibit ‘Nunavik North of 60’, featuring examples of Inuit sculpture and art created in communities located above the 60th parallel on the Ungava Peninsula in the region of Nunavik, Northern Quebec.

Darlene Coward Wight, Curator of Inuit Art –

Carvers who originally lived in camps near Inukjuak and Puvirnituq were the first to create sculpture for export to southern markets in the early 1950s. This is now considered the beginning of “contemporary” Inuit art and the carving industry in the Canadian Arctic which was gradually expanded to other areas. That artistic expansion included the small, more northerly Nunavik communities of Salluit, Ivujivik, Kangirsuk, Kangiqsujuaq, and Akulivik. There are many treasures from these lesser-known communities in the WAG’s collection of Inuit art and this exhibition will be an opportunity to see works that are not exhibited as often as those from larger artistic centres such as Cape Dorset and Baker Lake.

One of the best-known artists in the exhibition is Mattiusi Iyaituk (b. 1950) from Ivujivik, represented by the innovative sculpture Old Qulliq Carried by a Woman. Thomassie Kudluk from Kangirsuk (1910-1989) is well-known for his idiosyncratic carvings that communicate to the viewer through syllabic inscriptions. Makusikalla Qullialu (1930-1989) is not as well known, but his large sculpture, Caribou and Otter demonstrates his talent in this moving, anthropomorphic interpretation. The exhibition features sculptures dating from the mid-1950s to the early 2000s, by male and female carvers from all the small, northerly communities in Nunavik.

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