Change: Polar art on the National Geographic Endurance

Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic reveal “Change”: an extraordinary exhibition of polar art on board the National Geographic Endurance.

Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Expeditions, world leaders in responsible tourism and expedition cruises, present Change, a one-of-a-kind art exhibition on board the newest ship in the fleet, the National Geographic Endurance. The on board installation is curated by Zaria Forman, famous for her pastel drawings depicting climate change in the world.

“Change” is the first permanent installation of polar art featured on a ship, and it includes drawings, paintings, videos, photographs, sculptures and more, with 35 participating artists. The collection is spread throughout the entire ship, both public and private spaces, with different decks having different themes. From the polar lights to portraits, from human history to the exploration of the polar region.

After having worked as an artist for the first time on board the National Geographic Explorer in Antarctica in 2015, Zaria Forman was the perfect choice as a collaborator for this new artistic project. All the public spaces of the ship, as well as several suites, feature original works of art, each with a statement and note from the artists to provide viewers with a deeper understanding of how and why these environments influenced the artist and his or her work.

“Zaria was given the challenge to curate the permanent polar art exhibit on board our ship, and I believe that her care has created one of the best art collections examining the power and vulnerability of these rare geographies anywhere in the world,” said Sven Lindblad, CEO of Lindblad Expeditions.

The exhibition includes experimental pieces, like a sculpture by John Grade in glass and resin hung from the ceiling that invites guests into sort of marine ice floating on the surface of the ocean. Then there are replicas of ice cores from the ice sheet in Greenland which span a four-deck ladder. Another are glass portholes that look into tiny hyper-realistic environments sculpted by Patrick Jacobs, or reproductions of landscapes, or the exciting sound of the crackling of ice when it melts caused by the release of air from glaciers.

“Each work of art shows the profound effect that this environment can have on an individual,” said Forman. “The exhibit will be a shared experience, allowing our guests to feel like they are a part of something much bigger than their own individual observations. And I hope that it will take them on a journey that stays close to their heart, to be moved by the landscape that surrounds them: and they’ll want to protect and preserve it.”

The exhibition will try to literally broaden guests’ perspectives by including views normally not accessible to polar explorers, like those from submarines or airplanes. But it will also try to do so in a figurative sense, with a look at the history of polar exploration by National Geographic that pushes us to understand how those reports and stories have contributed to forming the perception of these places for people in the West.

“National Geographic has been telling important stories for more than 130 years,” said Nancy Schumacher, EVP of Travel and Tour Operations of National Geographic Partners. “We have embraced every multimedia platform available and this is yet another example of going beyond the confines of storytelling, using a completely new way of involving and immersing passengers in this unique art and travel experience.”

Today a virtual visit to “Change” is available, to understand the inspiration and importance in a video made by National Geographic and which Cruising Journal is happy to promote and support. A taste, so to speak, of this unique experience, which of course is even more extraordinary if experienced directly onboard the new National Geographic Endurance.

Information and Reviews of Lindblad Expeditions, with advice, opinions, photos and videos on Cruising Journal.

Gabriele Bassi