‘The novel alleviates a hungry appetite’
Expedition photographer, Frank Hurley - The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914-1917. Hurley was among a group of 28 men whose ship, The Endurance, was trapped and crushed in sea ice. The men spent 19 months stranded in the most hostile environment on earth, yet all of them survived. They would often read excerpts from books to one another describing food or feasting. Homer’s Iliad was a particular favourite among the men.
Encaustic and mixed media on panel
66 x 66 cm
Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland
Veins of volcanic ash trapped between layers of ice, cracked and turned. Brief moments of heated violence fossilised by the chill.
noun pa·limp·sest \ˈpa-ləm(p)-ˌsest, pə-ˈlim(p)-\. : a very old document on which the original writing has been erased and replaced with new writing. Something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form.
“Landforms may be combinations of different elements - either separate patches of different age and origin thus recording landform history, or combined together and over-printed in complex ways as palimpsests”
Kenneth J Gregory & John Lewin
The Basics of Geomorphology
'Grit' is a work in progress inspired by Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition, one half of the The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition - an epic story of leadership, comradeship and determination to survive in the harshest of environments. The seeds of the project were planted back in February 2016, when Lucy first saw expedition photographer, Frank Hurley's glass plate negatives at 'The Enduring Eye' exhibit at The Royal Geographical Society. Guided very generously by friend and master gilder, Giuseppe Minetti she learnt about a technique called verre églomisé, which allowed her to utilise materials associated with Hurley's photographic process - glass, silver and gelatine. The resulting works are inspired by his portraits of the 28 men, the antarctic landscape and the incredible descriptions of the men's living conditions, particularly of the 'snuggery' on Elephant Island, where Hurley's makeshift stove helped to keep the the men warm and fed.
Expedition meteorologist, Leonard Hussey's banjo playing proved crucial in keeping up the spirits of the stranded men throughout their ordeal and Hussey wrote, "Sir Ernest saved the banjo just before the ship sank saying, 'We must have that banjo if we lose all our food, it's vital mental medicine.' “
Music is by Benji Flaming. Find him here on iTunes.