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Press Release - Antarctica Dispatches

Issue date: 11 Nov 2004
Number: 13/2004

10 November 2004 Email users and art gallery visitors around the UK can soon receive a daily drawing ?live? from Antarctica. Artist Simon Faithfull is embarking on an epic two-month journey to the frozen continent. Using a Palm-Pilot as a crude sketchpad, his drawings will be dispatched out to the world and, as they appear in subscriber?s in-boxes, will create a strange kind of diary giving the audience a unique experience of traveling ever further south. Traveling with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), the drawn journal will start when Faithfull departs from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire on 23 November. Traveling to the Falklands via Ascension Island, he will join BAS scientists on board the ice-strengthened ship RSS Ernest Shackleton. On its way South the ship will visit several subantarctic islands, break through expanses of sea-ice and ultimately reach the ice cliffs of Antarctica. More than a month after leaving England, the sketches will record the final journey inland to the strange science-fiction-like Halley Research Station perched on stilts above the empty, white wilderness of Antarctica. Using the extremely restricted means of the Palm-Pilot, the pixilated drawings might depict any number of things. Faithfull says, ?Drawings might include a detail of the ship, a weather balloon disappearing, an abandoned whaling station, Shackleton?s grave, a colony of penguins or a drifting iceberg. The project will convey the extreme mechanics of the journey, the tedium of isolation and the awful beauty of a journey into the void. Ultimately the work will look at what it is that fascinates us still about this beautiful emptiness.? Faithfull was selected for the ?Artists and Writers in Antarctica? scheme jointly run by the British Antarctic Survey and Arts Council England?s International Artists Fellowships Programme. As well as being received by individual subscribers, the daily drawings will appear in galleries around the UK including the CCA in Glasgow where they will appear physically day-by-day to create an evolving installation. To subscribe to the email service please email: brrr@simonfaithfull.org Or visit: www.simonfaithfull.org/antarctica Ends Issued by British Antarctic Survey Press Office and Arts Council England Press Office. Contact: Athena Dinar, BAS, tel. 01223 221414, email: a.dinar@bas.ac.uk For more information contact: CCA: Dianne McGregor Tel +44 (0)141 332 7521dianne dianne@cca-glasgow.com Simon Faithfull: me@simonfaithfull.org Notes to Editors: Photographs and footage of Antarctica are available from the BAS Press Office as above. Faithfull is one of two artists heading ?South? on this year?s scheme. Writer John McGregor departs for Rothera Research Station on 14 November via the Royal Research Ship James Clark Ross. Galleries exhibiting Simon Faithfull?s daily drawings from Antarctica include: Glasgow ? The Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3JD Tel: 0141 332 7521 gen@cca-glasgow.com London ? Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH Tel: 020 7930 3647 Southampton ? Southampton City Art Gallery Civic Centre, Commercial Road, Southampton, Hampshire, SO14 7LP Tel: 023 8083 4563 Hampshire ? Artsway Station Road, Sway, Hampshire, SO41 6BA Tel: 01590 682260 General information about the British Antarctic Survey British Antarctic Survey is responsible for most of the UK?s research in Antarctica. It is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council. More information about the work of the Survey can be found on our website: w ww.antarctica.ac.uk

General information about the Arts Council of England

The Arts Council is the national body for the arts in England. It distributes public money from Government and the National Lottery to artists and arts organisations, and is responsible for developing, sustaining and promoting the arts in England. The Arts Council is an independent, non-political body working at arm's length from the Government. On 1 April 2002, the Arts Council of England and the 10 Regional Arts Boards joined together to form a single development organisation for the arts. For information about the Arts Council?s International Artists Fellowships Programme, visit: www.artscouncil.org.uk/internationalfellowships