The Arctic Circle // Creative Research

by Blane De St.Croix


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I was selected to participate in the 2013 residency expedition to the Arctic Circle for creative on site research during a three-week expedition on a ship departing from Svalbard, Norway, to cruise just ten degrees from the North Pole. From this research I plan to create a truly timely monumental work, a highly detailed, landscape installation representing this iconic and environmentally sensitive landscape. This International program invites artists, scientists, architects, and educators to explore the Arctic Circle and respond to the experience through our work.  Though the residency program does provide some of the costs of the trip, I still need funding to cover travel costs, including airfare from New York City to Svalbard, Norway. I also need special gear and clothing for the severe temperatures, as well as other site-specific equipment for professional documentation. 

In no other time in history has the Arctic Circle been as threatened by the human desire to take command over nature. My project surrounds this desperate plight. We have been irrevocably destroying the environment of this unique and fragile land. My project will render a section of the Arctic Circle representing what has now unintentionally become a visual symbol of both environmental beauty and destruction. My work will function as both a monument of the pristine landscape and a memorial to the melting icecaps.

To successfully complete this important project, intense on site research is required. While on this expedition I will conduct site visits, photographic documentation, sketch studies, interviews, and maintain a journal. A site visit is imperative so I may visually interpret and recreate the region. The final form will be a very sizeable re-creation of a large-scale section of the landscape of the Arctic placed within a public forum. 

I have a proven track record of successfully completing many extraordinary large-scale works. I have also traveled in remote, inaccessible and highly contentious regions and borders. Most notably, I have traveled the entire length of the Mexican/United States border producing the monumental work Broken Landscape at Smack Mellon, NY and Future Arts Research, AZ. With the assistance of my recent Guggenheim Fellowship I traveled to Haiti (post-earthquake) conducting extensive research including meeting with the Haitian government and border officials, the local people, participated in aerial flyovers, and a traveled throughout the regions most effected by the earthquake. This trip to Haiti resulted in large-scale works that are now being shown in the Kathmandu International Triennial in Nepal. 

The heightened effcts of global warming were seen first hand with the catastrophic results of Hurricane Sandy in the northeast. Many suffered great losses and I myself lost an entire studio, all of its contents, artwork, materials, equipment and archives when over six feet of flooding devastated my space.  Due to this difficult situation your support is especially appreciated and will allow me to get back to a normal studio practice while not hindering the much needed research methods crucial to my process.

Through your thoughtful contributions, I will be able to purchase the equipment, supplies and cover travel costs necessary for this excursion and possibly some material and fabrication costs as well. Together, on this monumental project we can bring attention to the damage actions are causing to the Arctic and in turn the world at large.

Thank you.

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