New Zealander, b. 1954
Wilhelmina Bay, Antarctica, from ICEBLINK, 2005
In Wilhelmina Bay, the ubiquitous ship at the heart of Antarctic imagery becomes both a real and surreal vision of exploration. Anne Noble juxtaposes Antarctica’s seemingly inaccessible landscape with empty plastic chairs that perhaps represent the droves of tourists eager to experience the ice before climate change transforms the continent. A sense of loss pervades her work, as Antarctica becomes yet another commodity for the taking.
Anne Noble has made three voyages to Antarctica, including one with the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. Examining how the visual history of ice influences people’s perceptions of this region, Noble studied the photographs of Frank Hurley and Herbert Ponting and visited Antarctic tourist centers, aquariums, and museums. The artist aims to help the public transcend perceptions of Antarctica as a sublime, untouched realm and grasp the realities of what is happening to the continent today.