Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Exhibition explores encounter between Antarctica

Friday 14 September

Exhibition explores encounter between Antarctica, art and science

Acclaimed New Zealand artist Ruth Watson offers a poetic commentary on the porous borders and intriguing resemblances between art and science in her exhibition from white darkness.

Combining archival footage from Antarctica with Watson’s own Antarctic recordings, the exhibition is part of Christchurch Art Gallery's Outer Spaces programme of art in the wider city. It will be on display at NZ IceFest’s Hagley Park Ice Station from 14 September (NZ IceFest opens to the public at 5pm) to 14 October.

Stepping inside the exhibition space visitors will encounter an assortment of monitors showing Antarctic-related imagery from different times and contexts.

Christchurch Art Gallery director Jenny Harper says that ‘the fragmented, overlapping collage of image, text and sound is as ambiguous and disorientating as it is seductive’.

“Like the screens on which it is played, Watson’s source material has been salvaged from a range of eras, suggesting that this unofficial, interdisciplinary relationship began with the introduction of the Antarctic Treaty.”

“Watson’s work disrupts traditional assumptions about the stability of knowledge – celebrating slippage and uncertainty instead – and presents science, like art, as a fundamentally speculative venture.”

Curator Felicity Milburn says that Watson, who travelled to Antarctica in late 2011 while completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies, is well known for works that consider mapping, measurement and the shifting line between what is known and unknown.

“Prized as a natural laboratory for a host of scientific fields, the Antarctic environment is mapped, measured, sampled and tested by researchers from all over the world, yet somehow the continent itself resists definition. Science is about the accumulation of knowledge, but it is also about testing propositions. For both artists and scientists, asking questions can be more important than finding answers”

Ruth Watson will also give an artist talk on Sunday 23 September, 7pm in the UC Geo Dome, Hagley Park Ice Station. Entry is free.

Born in Canterbury, Ruth Watson has exhibited widely throughout New Zealand, Australia, Europe and the United States since the mid-1980s, and her work is held in all New Zealand’s major public collections as well as that of the National Gallery of Australia. from white darkness is her 40th solo project. The artist acknowledges the support of the Elam School of Fine Arts Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF).

For more information visit and


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland