Smith’s exhibition, Polar: Photographs from the Ice, continues a body of work that began in 1986. Polar presents the viewer with the extreme and harsh, yet beautiful and dynamic, Arctic and Antarctic landscapes. Smith has lived and worked for up to a year at a time at research stations in Antarctica and Greenland, sometimes traveling across the frozen icecap for months at a time. His work reflects a keen appreciation of the strikingly austere natural landscapes of our earth’s polar regions. Rather than simply documenting what he sees, however, he interacts with what is there, even when “what is there” seems to be very sparse. Smith states, “There is the sky, the endless white snow, and a horizon line dividing the two. I see this wide open landscape as a unique palette.”
In weather down to 80°F below zero and encumbered head to toe in alien-looking Arctic gear, he hauls equipment, props, previously photographed images and found objects out into the harsh, surreal environment. Year after year, Smith has persistently ventured out to invent, explore and push his artistic vision in an environment that continues to give back. Polar reflects a personal insight into a rapidly changing environment that few will ever have the privilege to experience firsthand and none will ever see with the artistic vision of Pat Smith.
Download the exhibition brochure: Polar.pdf