2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

Art and Antarctica: Effects of the Polar Environment on Artistic Creation
Katharyn A. Reed
Dr. Sara Orel and Dr. Julia DeLancey, Faculty Mentors

When one thinks about Antarctica, things such as icebergs and penguins generally come to mind, not art. Such basic elements as the extreme cold and barren landscape tend to divorce the continent from art historical discourse. It is these characteristics, however, that are foundational to the art created on the continent. This paper explores the ways in which the conditions of life in Antarctica influence creative processes. The art created at the McMurdo Station, the largest community in Antarctica, will be the focus of this paper. Two aspects of the artwork from the Station will be investigated to see how they are affected by the polar environment. First, the pervasive use of found materials, those not originally intended as art materials, will be discussed. The prevalence of simplified forms in art created at McMurdo Station will also be explored with the help of the field of neuroaesthetics.

Keywords: Antarctica, art, art history, found, simplification

Art History
Environmental Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 3-4
Location: OP 2210
Time: 9:00

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