The Enduring Eye: a centenary exhibition to celebrate Frank Hurley’s photographs of Shackleton’s Endurance expedition
The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) today, 20 November 2014, announces ambitious plans to celebrate the centenary of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914-17) led by Sir Ernest Shackleton and better known today as the Endurance expedition.
The Society owns 68 glass plate negatives of the expedition, selected and saved from the ice by Frank Hurley and Sir Ernest Shackleton, and never previously seen by the public. These fragile glass plates, which vividly capture the feelings of men in extreme circumstances, will be used in an innovative new exhibition that tells Shackleton and his team’s story of extreme adventure, team spirit, trust, difficult judgements and an audacious plan to sail 800 miles in little more than a rowing boat as the only possible chance of rescue.
Opening on 20 November 2015 to mark the centenary of the crushed Endurance sinking below the sea ice of Antarctica on Sunday 21 November 1915, the exhibition will inspire, engage and inform visitors with UK Antarctic heritage, Shackleton’s extraordinary leadership and Hurley’s photographic achievements in such uncompromising landscapes.
Curated by Meredith Hooper, the exhibition will also conserve the fragile glass plate negatives, and enable public access, by taking the first digital copies of the plates and making replica plates.
Dr Rita Gardner, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Director, said: “The centenary of the Endurance expedition and the evocative images from it provide a unique opportunity to generate a wider understanding and appreciation of the Antarctic legacy of Shackleton and Hurley on photography, science and heritage. We plan to combine technology and theatrical design to produce a public ‘Shackleton’ exhibition unlike any previously seen.”
Camilla Nichol, Chief Executive of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, said: “We are delighted to be the headline supporter of this landmark exhibition. It is a unique opportunity to create a legacy which uses state-of-the-art technology to preserve for the future these precious photographic plates. The exhibition will allow a new generation to be inspired by the story of Endurance and to experience for themselves these extraordinary images, which survived against all the odds”
The exhibition is being made possible through the generous support of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, the Governments of the British Antarctic Territory and South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands, Rolex and the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851.
The Society is working on plans to tour the exhibition in the UK and beyond.
To read the full press release click here.
New films for Port Lockroy and Deception Island
The UK Antarctic Heritage Trust is pleased to announce the release of two new films introducing two of the most important and charismatic sites in Antarctica; Port Lockroy and Deception Island.
Port Lockroy film
Filmed by AGB films, who also made the BBC Natural World’s ‘Penguin Post Office’ documentary, Port Lockroy ‘Base A’, Antarctica introduces the history of Port Lockroy as well as offering a taster of what visitors to the historic site can see today. Featuring footage shot from the 2013/14 season, as well as archival images, this introduction to Port Lockroy gives an insight into why Base ‘A’ remains the most visited historic site in Antarctica.
Whaler’s Bay Deception Island film
The UK Antarctic Heritage Trust has also produced a film for Whaler’s Bay in Deception Island. With its varied history and remains this site is notoriously challenging for visitors to interpret. The film ‘Whalers Bay Deception Island: A Brief History’ provides an overview of this fascinating and historically important part of Antarctica and provides a useful means of interpretation of the site. Created by Kirk Watson, the film uses rare archival footage as well as more recent images to bring the story of Whalers Bay to life.
The UK Antarctic Heritage Trust has produced these films as informative guides to be screened to cruise-ship passengers before they visit Port Lockroy and Deception Island. As a member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), UKAHT uses these films as part of its commitment to promoting responsible tourism in Antarctica.
Both of these films are now available on YouTube through the links found on our website here, with additional subtitled versions of the Deception Island briefing film in English, French, German, Mandarin, Norwegian and Spanish.
UK Antarctic Heritage Trust announces the appointment of a Chief Executive
The UK Antarctic Heritage Trust is pleased to announce the appointment of Camilla Nichol as its new Chief Executive. The appointment follows the decision of the Director, Rachel Morgan, to step down after fourteen years with the Trust.
Camilla Nichol joins the Trust from Leeds Museums and Galleries, where she has been Head of Collections since 2008. In Leeds she was responsible for the care, conservation and development of the 1.3 million-strong collections across nine museum sites. Leading on the strategic development of the service she secured in excess of £13m of external funding, including achieving Arts Council England Major Partner Museum status for Leeds. She also was responsible for the award-winning community engagement programme, an innovative digital media department, an active research strategy, as well as strategic partnership development.
Camilla studied Geology at the University of Edinburgh followed by Museum Studies at the University of Leicester. Previously she led the science team at York Museums Trust and worked at the Hunterian Museum at Glasgow University, during which time the first rocks collected on the Antarctic mainland by Carsten Borchgrevink were uncovered in the collection.
“I am delighted to be joining the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust at such an exciting time. Port Lockroy has never been so popular with visitors, plus we are in the middle of the centenary of the heroic age which has inspired so many. I am looking forward to sharing my passion for the Antarctic with a wider public” said Camilla.
“I'm looking forward to working with the Trustees and the team in Cambridge in continuing the Trust’s excellent work in preserving this important heritage, as well as developing new and innovative ways for us to reach new audiences with our Antarctic story.”
“The Trustees are delighted that Camilla has accepted the role of Chief Executive of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust,” said UKAHT Chairman, Donald Lamont. “Rachel Morgan leaves a unique legacy of achievement: our operation at Port Lockroy is the most visited location in Antarctica and has become known to a wider public through the outstanding “Penguin Post Office” programme on TV. This forms a platform of excellence on which Camilla and our team in Cambridge can now build”.
Penguin Post Office
Last season BBC Natural World commissioned a production that would capture Port Lockroy’s gentoo penguins. Their daily trials and tribulations unfold as cruise ships come and go, bringing tourists to buy postcards, visit the museum and of course photograph the penguins.
Running concurrently are two further BBC productions: BBC Radio 4 ‘Penguin Post Office’, recorded by the film crew team and CBBC’s ‘My Life’ featuring director and cameraman Andrew Graham-Brown’s children.
Port Lockroy Post Office and museum sits on tiny Goudier Island in Antarctica. Established in February 1944 the research station remained permanently occupied until 1962. In 1996 Port Lockroy was restored to its original condition and is now open to visitors during the Antarctic summer. Each year the Trust recruits a team of four talented and enthusiastic staff to work at Port Lockroy for the season, promoting the legacy of British scientists' early work. The gentoo penguins arrived on Goudier Island in 1985.
For more information about this BBC production click here