Artist Neville Gabie will be spending the next 4 months in Antarctica with the British Antarctic Survey as their artist in residence at Halley Research Station. Situated on the Brunt Ice Shelf this is the first time an artist has been allowed to spend the whole summer season at the base. During that time Neville will update this blog with a one minute film each week. This project has been initiated in collaboration with Picture This.
One Minute Week
Artist Neville Gabie will be spending the next 4 months in Antarctica with the British Antarctic Survey as their artist in residence at Halley Research Station. Situated on the Brunt Ice Shelf this is the first time and artist has been allowed to spend the whole summer season at the base. To get there Neville will travel on the ice-breaker, The Ernest Shakleton from Cape Town leaving in mid December. After a journey of about 4 weeks, dependent on sea and ice, the Shakleton is due to get to Halley in early January. Neville will be based there until the summer team vacates in mid March, returning via the Falkland islands.
During that time Neville will update this blog with a one minute film each week.
Neville Gabie - Antarctic residency project
‘My proposed project is based around the idea of making the journey to the Antarctic to fly kites. Perhaps of all recreational activities flying kites is the most playful, even frivolous. It conjures images of warm days, a gentle breeze and colourful shapes dancing above our heads. So flying kites in the Antarctic, even in the summer months, is the antithesis of our expectations. Not only are the weather and wind conditions hostile, but the very idea of ‘recreation’ in the Antarctic seems contrary to the seriousness of the work undertaken there. That is my intention - the aim is to use a simple device, a kite, which most of us are familiar with, as a tool for considering something outside our comprehension. Using small video cameras attached to the kites, I will film the landscape. The resulting footage has less to do with photography, much more to do with exploring the mood or atmosphere of that landscape. With a kite, what is recorded is almost entirely determined by the wind, revealing it both in sound and movement. Flying close to the ground, what is made visible are the ephemeral marks on the surface of the landscape, tyre tracks, foot prints, or the lines of a ski left in the ice; the traces which are often overlooked or left unrecorded. The physical activity of moving through the terrain, of pulling and guiding the kite above my head, is also about filming myself in a landscape I have become visibly part of; a performance. This project develops work that I have already done in Western Australia working with a kite. Although both landscapes appear to be very different, both are deserts with little or no rainfall and both are extremely vulnerable eco-systems where human activity has its greatest visible impact.’ Neville Gabie
British Antarctic Survey Artists and Writers Programme
The British Antarctic Survey have an established Artists and Writers programme which is jointly funded by the Arts Council England that has been running for about five years. Neville Gabie is working with Picture This, based in Bristol, as a partner organization supporting the outcome of the project.
With a background in sculpture, Neville Gabie’s practice has always been driven by working in response to specific, usually urban, contexts beyond the studio. Motivated by a personal need to understand his own sense of place, Gabie’s interest is in establishing a working relationship within a particular environment as a means of considering its physical, cultural or emotional significance. His work is included in the Arts Council and Tate Gallery collections.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa,  Neville Gabie studied sculpture at the Royal College of Art in London.
Neville will be the artist in residence with the British Antarctic Survey – Artists and writers residency 2008/09