Antarctica

Christian Clare Robertson travelled to Antarctica in the summer of 1988/9 as the guest of the Australian Antarctic Division. A major exhibition of paintings was produced as a result of the voyage. All the paintings are oils on linen.

This work was exhibited in 1991 at the Museum and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory in both Darwin and Alice Springs, and New Parliament House in Canberra. In 1993 it was exhibited at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart in Tasmania, to coincide with a major conference, Hobart being the headquarters of the Australian Antarctic Division. In 1996 four of the Antarctic paintings were reproduced by Australia Post as a set of stamps for The Australian Antarctic Territory. The Antarctic series was also exhibited in Alice Springs, plus Hobart and Burnie in Tasmania.

‘These paintings don’t look like Antarctica, because it’s impossible, but they do feel like it.  Another feature of the continent is the fact that because the air is so clear you become confused – is that the tip of a distant mountain, or just a rock in the middle distance over a slight rise?  You can’t tell, it’s only the effort to focus your eyes that tells you.  There are no familiar landmarks in this place, no trees or buildings or people, it’s a fractal landscape where patterns are repeated from the huge to tiny, with nothing to hint at scale.  I have used this effect in several of the paintings – you can see everything yet understand very little.  This is perhaps an effect that is unique to Antarctica and the polar regions.’

(excerpt from interview)