Friday, October 5, 2018
Calm with snow in the afternoon, -2ºC
Yesterday, we made our second landing at van Keulenhamna, and I was really tired. I knew I wanted to go on the landing, but I also craved some time for rest, to download my photos, and make some room for more quiet. On the moraine tundra, we saw six beluga whales and four reindeer. But, my body felt colder than I’ve been this whole trip. I think it was because my heart wasn’t quite there. I sat and watched the reindeer for what must have been an hour. After a while on land, I counted the minutes until we’d be back on the ship.
To try to warm up, I walked along the beach and listened to the quiet waves sizzle into the small pebble sand, my toes chunks of solid ice inside my waterproof boots. Water so clear, I could barely distinguish where it ended. I had an impulse to wade into it but feared that kind of cold on my skin - like I would never feel warmth again. Skin permanently feeling the stabbing pain of the freeze, forever shivering in the cold. But that is not how it works. Except in dangerous situations, our bodies are resilient to the cold when we return them to warmth. I should’ve stripped off all of the layers that protected me from the environment at that moment and jumped into the water to experience it fully with all of my senses. But I didn’t. Instead I shivered and walked over to the place where the zodiac would land and eventually bring us back to the warm comfort of the ship.
Today, I woke up just before 7am. Ate breakfast and walked out onto the deck. We set sail from van Keulenhamna shortly after towards Recherchebreen.
I enjoyed walking around during our landing at Recherchebreen.. Our guides marked out a perimeter where we could explore a peninsula of land that overlooked the glacier from a distance. There were a couple of higher vantage points where we could look out over the glacier, and at one we spotted an arctic fox walking along an adjacent beach.
In the afternoon I went on an incredible excursion in the zodiac with the group of people recording sound. There were long periods of silence - it was what I’d been craving. We could hear the popping, clanking, and crackling of ice. We got to see large turquoise and blue chunks of ice that had fallen off of the glacier. There was a couple of carvings while we sat there, but one very intense calving sent rumbles ricocheting all around us and made waves throughout the lagoon. A bearded seal came very close to see what we were up to. My favorite day so far.
From my second journal devoted to thoughts about art:
Making some strides in the last couple of days. Started making some painting sketches in the places that we've been. I’m really excited with these. But, I’m still, of course, struggling with tying the painting to the installation work and making the connections between the two. Maybe I don’t continue with the installations after AoV until it makes sense with what I’m doing - until I’ve caught up with that train of thought. I’m just not sure that I’m there yet. And I’m fine with that because I love these paintings so much - they are most definitely a part of me. Then again, maybe I’m simply overthinking and am nervous about failure. If that is the case, I need to run into it head on. Will one of these new paintings work with the new AoV work?
To do: Project the wave video behind the screen install. See what it does to the patterns, if anything.
This activity is made possible, in part, by funds provided by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) through a grant from The McKnight Foundation.