High Arctic is an interactive sound and light installation at the National Maritime Museum, created by United Visual Artists in response to a real-life expedition to the Arctic with Cape Farewell. According to Blueprint, High Arctic ‘could set the standard in exhibition design in London for the coming years.’
The Museum wanted to celebrate the opening of its new wing in July 2011 with a contemporary exhibition, so I was given the opportunity to commission a large-scale digital installation. I appointed United Visual Artists to ‘take our visitors on an enthralling and interactive journey to the Arctic, using large-scale digital and audio-visual experiences to convey the ocean’s scale, beauty and vulnerability in an era of global climate change.’
It was important to me that even this innovative installation was grounded in research so I established a collaboration with climate change charity Cape Farewell to host UVA on their 2010 expedition to the Svalbard archipelago.
The context of a sailing expedition afforded a uniquely maritime treatment of the climate change subject and UVA’s interactions with the scientists and other artists on board the Nordelicht helped to shape the creative vision for the installation.
Video by James Medcraft
High Arctic credits
Commissioned by the National Maritime Museum
In collaboration with Cape Farewell
Created by United Visual Artists
Poetry: Nick Drake
Sound design: Max Eastley and Henrik Ekeus
Programmer: Luke Malcolm