Well, I acknowledge that it has been a rather long absence in this space and that I must get back in the habit of documenting all the behind the scenes goings ons like I used to.
There has been a lot going on…as always but one thing in particular that I couldn’t announce for a while, and then I had to get my head around it.

I AM GOING TO ANTARCTICA IN OCT/NOV 2015!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, that statement required all caps and as many exclamation marks that I could fit on a line. I have known for over a month but during that time I had to complete the Upstream art Trail project and a few other things. In the background, I have also been running kids workshops, doing family stuff and a little bit of research about what the heck I will be getting up to in Antarctica. I’ve also been experimenting with casually dropping that sentence into conversations.
I will be accompanying a research team that my long time collaborator Dr Craig Stevens [NIWA/University of Auckland] is part of. Apparently we will be 5 kms from Scott Base on sea ice, residing in 20 foot containers and eating a lot of couscous. Details of the research project are here: The title of the research is “Supercooled ice shelf cavity water and the influence on sea ice growth”. At this early stage, I am not even going to attempt to paraphrase the research as I won’t do it justice… yet. I need to study up and observe the actual science in action.
My role as part of the research team will be outreach. This means that after and possibly before I go to Antarctica I will try to talk to the public as often as I can about Antarctica. Schools workshops and an exhibition will be a focus. [about what and where will be TBC].
These are activities that I do already while talking about my art or whilst running art/sci project workshops, but only with second and third hand information. I can’t even imagine how transformational the trip down to the ice will be.
So in the mean time I am writing lots and lots of lists. What I’ll need to take with me, what might be interesting for me to research and hanging out in the library, painting with water colours and thinking about woolly hats.
I am also going to try and document more of all the above on this blog.

I will leave you with this advice I was given on how to acclimatise to Antarctic conditions, with thanks to Dr Craig Stevens:

” re: polar aclimatisation … if you’re serious…. dress up in ALL your clothes, find a big box to sit in, put a fan on blowing straight into your face and I’ll come round, scrape the frost out of yer freezer and throw it at you while simultaneously telling jokes, complaining about management and cooking you ANOTHER meal of cous cous, frozen veggie bag and mystery meat. It’ll be just like the real thing.”