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The Big Ice

The Big Ice

An exhibition celebrating New Zealand’s role in the 50 years of scientific exploration of Antarctica is headed for Christchurch.

Antarctica: The Big Ice, developed by Otago Museum, will be brought to Christchurch and set up for display at Our City O-Tautahi from September 3.

The full title for the exhibition is Antarctica: The Big Ice Exploration. Science. Inspiration - Celebrating 50 years of New Zealand in Antarctica. Including the photography of Grahame Sydney.

Otago artist Grahame Sydney’s many photographs of Antarctica captures the essence of the beauty and the barrenness of the harshest climate on earth.

Mr Sydney captured the continent with photography and notes as part of the Artists in Residence programme. He later transposed the photographs to canvas.
Mr Sydney’s work will be displayed alongside a number of inspired works from a variety of New Zealand artists.

Antarctica: The Big Ice will also display some artefacts historically and emotionally identified with Antarctica explorations, including the ice pick used by Sir Edmund Hillary on his trek to the South Pole.

"The exhibition has already made Otago Museum history, attracting over 50,000 local and international visitors from when it opened in December 2006 till the end of April 2007,” says Lou Sanson, Chief Executive of Antarctica NZ.

“We are delighted to be able to fund Antarctica: The Big Ice, given the importance of Christchurch as a key gateway to Antarctica,” says Mr Sanson, adding he was sure the exhibition would be just as popular here as it was in Dunedin.

The exhibition inspires an awe for the last great wilderness, a feeling of pride for the pioneers of the continent and amazement at the level of research being undertaken presently.

Present-day scientists and researchers are conducting studies, some pretty cutting-edge, to better understand the workings of the continent, and its effect on the rest of the planet.

Antarctica: The Big Ice, is brought to Christchurch by Antarctic NZ and the Christchurch City Council.

“The exhibition also marks the International Polar Year, a period of intensive research and discovery using today’s technology,” says Julie Battersby, Civic and International Relations Manager.

Ms Battersby says only a sample of the 50 years of continued research can be presented in the exhibition. Our City O-Tautahi, venue of the exhibition, is in the historic Municipal Chambers on the corner of Worcester Boulevard and Oxford Terrace next to the Scott statue.

New Zealand is marking IPY with a special three-year, $4.5 million contestable fund to support research in Antarctica.


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