2005 Expedition Blog - Day 7


Saturday, 12 March 2005, 1:30pm


Heather Ackroyd


Art/Science 2005

There is no easy response to this place
Attachments: 5 images
Ice lens Arctic landscape Cast ice sphere Ice being carved Detail of ice crystals growing on lens

There is no easy response to this place. The extreme cold wrapped tendrils of ice into our clothes, coated our eye-lashes with frost mascara and delivered shocks of pain to exposed fingers and toes. The Noorderlicht lay captivated in a frozen bed of sea, a wonderful vessel full of warmth, food, light and everything we needed to sustain us on our brief stay in this frozen land. We arrived in a boot-lace convoy of skidoos, the hyper-active drone, like demented mosquitoes, rupturing the tranquillity. Don't get us going on skidoos, or skidon'ts as they were rapidly termed as they variously refused to start, bonnets laid open, spark-plugs cleaned, whilst we stamped feet and breathed in clouds of fumes. It would take 6 huskies a short day to bring a pair of travellers here to the boat, a journey the skidoo does in two flat hours. Time is of the essence as ever and we don't seem to move at dogs pace anymore.

Dan and I carved a lump of glacial ice we sawed and hauled out of the ice-sea into a large disc-shaped lens. We'd hoped it would focus beams of sunlight, possibly melting snow or scorching sheets of paper. Not to be, the sun was low and weak in the sky, but the glacial lens became a sun-catcher, presenting a cracked, ancient mosaic of light. Dan made a camera using a slice of ice, placing it behind a lens in a block of snow. The image of sun and distant mountains appeared like an apparition inverted on a sheet of glacial ice. And we made casts of polar bear foot prints tracking around the boat, but this time, foot prints was all we were to see of them.

Heather Ackroyd

2005 expedition route map