Expedition Preparations

Comparison of previous Canadian Northwest Passage and the Svalbard Norway Arctic Circle field work regions.

From the outset, I have said I believe my art contributes to climate warming discussions and impacts on global coastal habitats. The Svalbard Archipelago is reported as the fastest heating-up location on the Globe, at a rate of 4%. The purpose of my participation in this Arctic Circle 2019 Arts & Sciences Expedition, June 9 – 26 is to further my understanding and art research toward climate warming discussions.

The following consolidates previous posts on pre-Expedition preparations. My successful all-or-nothing 55-day Kickstarter fundraiser campaign surpassed the $7500 goal on March 31st. After Kickstarter fees, I was able to keep about $7000. The overall cost of the Arctic Expedition portion of a larger six-month creative research project was close to $13000. The largest portion went to Residency fees quoted as USD$6500, but with low Canadian dollar cost me CAD$9000. The sale of older camera equipment allowed the purchase of a more portable point-and-shoot Lumix ZS-200, 22.1MP, 15x telephoto lens, and a Euro Plug with two USB ports.

I also submitted a funding proposal to Canada Art Council which is pending decision in July, which also includes for the overall 6-month research project.

The travel water colour art supplies in combination with the new camera are my tools for recording inspirations for future studio work. Plans also include researching the ship’s navigational equipment such as sonar, radar and GPS technologies.

Decisions, decisions! Finally packed my water colour journaling kit.

There is no cellular or wifi contact during the 2-week expedition sailing in the remote Arctic Circle Svalbard Archipelago. The clothing I prepared ensures multi layering for unpredictable solstice temperatures and winds -10c to +10c. The structured Muck boots are required for the rocky glacier moraines and getting in and out of the Zodiac dinghy.

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The Antigua 3-mast tall ship that the Arctic Circle Organization rents for its 2 Svalbard expedition residencies, spring and fall, is 165 ft with 16 cabins, 2 participants per cabin, each with its own toilet, shower, basin and towels. The crew of 7 are Dutch and speaking English, the youngest is 16 years old. The four female residency expedition Guides are well trained in safety precautions for this remote area. Three meals/day with afternoon tea are provided.

The preparations consumed my time intensely, especially having to raise funding. Researching my project, the required equipment and gear and bringing it together was a full-time job.

My learning curve was steep for almost every aspect of this project, including the Kickstarter platform, asking people for money, video and website editing software, strategizing and using social media for project promotions. I’m extremely grateful for the support of my family, friends and community on many levels throughout the preparations for this Arctic Circle 2019 Arts & Sciences Expedition. I could not have done it alone.

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