Magazine article Geographical

ARCTIC LIGHT: An Artist's Journey in a Frozen Wilderness

Magazine article Geographical

ARCTIC LIGHT: An Artist's Journey in a Frozen Wilderness

Article excerpt

ARCTIC LIGHT: An Artist's Journey in a Frozen Wilderness

by David Bellamy

Search Press * [pounds sterling]25 (hardback)

* There are, Robert Macfarlane believes, people 'for whom northerliness is a mode of perception as well as a geographical position.' Artist David Bellamy is perhaps one of them. He voyages to Greenland and Svalbard to capture the coruscating light in watercolour, and allows the hardship and restrictions of the Arctic to shape his work.

Sketching while bouncing off husky-drawn sledges, or tied to ice screws above unfathomably deep moulins, he's drawn to the Arctic wildlife--musk ox, polar bears--and the dramatic shapes that ice creates as it's broken apart by oscillating temperatures. He writes in such a mild manner, amused by all he encounters--from the walrus who appears to be telling a bedtime story, to the rented boat that comes with a free leak--that it's easy to forget how brutal these landscapes can be. But the horror lurks in his tales like a dark shadow beside a sunny afternoon. …

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