Antarctica: Journey & Destination
December 9, 2005 – February 14, 2006
An Exhibition by Larry Ferguson at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
This is the landscape that comprises Antarctica, one of the most inhospitable – and beautiful – places on earth. Photographer Larry Ferguson captured the magnificent scenery during a seventeen-day excursion fraught with icebergs, freezing temperatures and bitter winds. It was the trip of a lifetime that resulted in visually stunning images of an unforgiving landscape most of us can only imagine.
The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts is pleased to present Ferguson’s photographic documentation of this arduous expedition in Antarctica.
Ferguson’s exhibition is part of his award as the Bemis Center’s Community Artist Fellowship, established to reward community artists for their contributions to the community. An Opening Reception takes place Friday, December 9th, from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. The photographer will also present a Gallery Talk on Saturday, January 21st, at 12:00 noon to discuss his journey and exhibition. Both events are FREE, and the public is warmly invited to attend.
From monumental icebergs to the piercing blue of the arctic sky, Ferguson captures the singular beauty of this desolate continent. As part of the involved itinerary to reach Antarctica, the photographer traveled to Chile and Argentina and then onto the Falkland Islands. From there, he boarded the Russian ice reinforced expedition ship Clipper Adventurer and began to encounter the unforgiving climate, which features blowing ice storms, temperatures of 80 degrees below zero and twenty-four hours of daylight during the Antarctic’s summer months. Surrounded entirely by ice, this so-called “White Continent” is the coldest, windiest and driest place on earth. Antarctica, which is 98% ice, is even more arid than the Sahara, and the frigid temperatures mean that it rarely, if ever, snows. Antarctica also the most peaceful place on the planet: no wars have ever been fought on or over this continent, and no country rules it. For this reason, no passport or visa is required to enter Antarctica, and anyone with the means or stamina can visit. Reflecting on his journey, Ferguson observes: “It was an experience beyond belief. The landscape is so heroic in scale.” The photographer was particularly struck by the immensity of the ice, which the harsh climate chisels into sheets, flows and bergs that all vary in size, shape and color. Similarly, seals, penguins, walruses and whales, the Antarctic’s lone denizens, provided opportunities for unparalleled nature photography. Since the bitter temperatures froze batteries, Ferguson had to rely on three manual camera systems to capture some 2,000 photographs, both in black-and-white and color, over 100 of which will be on display in Journey & Destination.
For those of us who can’t make the trip to the Antarctic, Journey & Destination offers a singular opportunity for experiencing this unique landscape. Join us at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and share in Larry Ferguson’s harrowing, beautiful journey to Antarctica.
About Artist Larry Ferguson:
Based in Omaha, photographer Larry Ferguson is an internationally-known artist whose work has been exhibited in more than 400 galleries and museums in the United States and Mexico. His photographs also appear in the public collections of numerous museums, such as the Joslyn Art Museum, the Society for Contemporary Photography, Kansas City, MO, the Library of Congress and the Centro Cultural Arte Contemporaneo, A.C. Manuel Alvarez Bravo Collection, Mexico. Additionally, his work has been featured in exhibitions at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City and the Art Institute of Chicago. Ferguson serves as Chairman of the Omaha Public Arts Commission and is a passionate advocate for arts in the community.