In october 2015, English artist Joshua Abarbanel has participated in the ‘Arctic Circle’, an expeditionary artist’s residency aboard a barquentine tall ship. With twenty-five other artists and a small crew, he sailed for more than two weeks around the international archipelago of Svalbard—ten degrees south of the North Pole—to experience this unparalleled region, do research for future artistic endeavors, and make art in situ.
Ice boat and antigua in gravneset, 2015
For the ‘Arctic Circle’ expedition, Joshua Abarbanel has created a small mold (16 inches long) of a model norwegian rowboat to be cast in ice and released in the arctic waters — where it would eventually melt and become the very element on which it floats. According to the artist, working with ice as a medium in the arctic invokes the ideas of ephemerality, temporality, impermanence, and the fragility of the natural environment.
Ice boat at Smeerenburgbreen 3, 2015
Several ice boats were released into the sea, at different locations among the fjords of Svalbard. Documented in photographs and video, the artwork is currently on display until December 16 2016 at the Los Angeles Harbor College fine art gallery — in the exhibition entitled ‘Joshua Abarbanel: Finding North’ which also includes recent sculptures like the new iteration of ‘Pebble boat’. the product has been crafted in ice and pebbles, as well as melted on site during the opening of the exhibition.
Ice boat and Antigua in Gravneset, 2015
Ice boat at Smeerenburgbreen 2, 2015Joshua Abarbanel testing the ice boat in the Arctic, 2015
image © Richard Painter