Archival pigment print, 32.5 x 50 inches.

Walking in Antarctica

Walking in Antarctica is inspired by Helen Glazer’s experience as a 2015 grantee of the National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. Since returning from her trip, she has been working with a rich cache of raw material, creating the photographic prints, sculpture, and an accompanying narrative that comprise the project. The series combines dramatic photographs with sculptures generated from photographs of ice and rock formations via 3D scanning technology, fabricated on 3D printers and CNC routers (computer-controlled cutting machines), then hand-painted. The work also incorporates an audio tour available through a mobile phone.

Glazer has organized her material as a series of “walks” through remarkable Antarctic landscapes: over frozen lakes, around towering glaciers and baroque sea ice formations, into a magnificent frozen ice cave, across fields of surreal-looking boulders, and through a lively colony of nesting Adélie penguins. The images range from sweeping landscapes to close-ups of small-scale features, depicting richly articulated and colorful environments that counter the common perception of a bleak, white wasteland. The sculptures offer an opportunity to experience the unique polar ice and rock formations from different vantage points.

Working out of remote Antarctic scientific field camps, Glazer had access to protected areas that can be entered only with government permits or in the company of a skilled mountaineer. Insights from her research and interactions with scientists enhanced her experience of nature during her residency. Her photographic vision, application of emerging 3D technologies, and storytelling skills have enabled her to capture and communicate experiences of remote places that few people are able to witness in person. Through her art, she strives to convey the wonder and complexity of the natural world and to motivate a desire among viewers to protect and preserve wild places.

Glazer has exhibited Walking in Antarctica at Rosenberg Gallery, Goucher College, Baltimore. She served as 2014–15 Baltimore Ecosystem Study Artist-in-Residence, producing a project based on long-term ecological research into urban ecology. Her recent work has been featured in exhibitions at BWI Marshall Airport, the New York Hall of Science, and Baltimore’s Artscape festival.

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Cite this Article

Glazer, Helen. “Walking in Antarctica.” Issues in Science and Technology 35, no. 4 (Summer 2019): 70–75.

Vol. XXXV, No. 4, Summer 2019