Image: test photocopies of paintings and photographs 2015

Well, that isn’t exactly true but I have just said goodbye to the kids and my love and have my bags brimming with all sorts of useful/warm stuff and I will be catching a plane today.

So, really, it is the first travel day where we are flying from Wellington to Christchurch where we will be issued our cold weather gear. Dinner and a catch up are scheduled and hopefully a tiny amount of sleep before we head to the Antarctic Centre by 6am for the 9am flight [on a Hercules!!!] to Antarctica.

I haven’t been sleeping so much this week, excited, restless and waking early as my daily to-do lists have been epic. I have been mostly sorting out provisions and details for the kids and a few extra just in case items for the trip. Almost a month is a long time for the kids to be without their mum, but hopefully they will slip into this new routine and do well without me.

I am sitting in my office now and have just realised that the only thing that I have forgotten to pack is my blue tooth speaker. So my Antarctica dance parties-for-one will have to use my laptop speakers or headphones. For me, I am impressed that it was just this one thing…I might realise that there are more things missing once I get unpacked and set up at the base but I am sure I can make do with my gaffa tape, hot glue gun and cable ties . [as long as the chocolate doesn’t run out!!]

This weekend I should be attending Antarctica Field Training which has been a kind of fantasy for me. Over 10 years ago I made a work about building a snow cave and did a lot of research around the different ways we can use our hands to build spaces and survive under extreme pressure. It is going to be interesting to put this long considered theory into practice. I am also going to learn to ride a skidoo!

Next week we will create our field camp that is about 20kms from Scott base on sea ice and is made up of a series of shipping containers. At some point during that week I will actually start to make some work. Unfortunately, I will have very limited, if any, internet access so I will be very quiet on the social media front. Expect a barrage in November though!

Some plans that I have for my own work on the ice are:

Documenting everything I can with everything that I have – i.e. video, photo, sound, drawing, painting and writing. I don’t necessarily know how this is going to be used. I am thinking of it as a collecting data that I will then process and turn into something at a later date.

Trying to understand – Much of the above will be in order to try and understand the work that the scientists are doing, the research, the physical space, environment, climate and headspace of a field camp in Antarctica and trying to reconcile my reading about Antarctica with the real thing.

Studio Antarctica –   I will have some dedicated space to make work and I hope to set it up as a temporary remote exhibition of work created toward the end. This will be another documentation exercise.

Site responsive work – I am planning on doing some discrete site specific installations within the shipping container field camp.

Have some new ideas for some new work – no pressure or anything, but I do have a major project looming for Feb/March in Auckland.

Seeing how many photographs I can take and being flexible with my expectations.

I know the photographic tally is going to make me laugh at some point. I’ll let you all know where I get to at the end. I also may run out of time to do everything on my list which is bigger than this. The experience is everything though and I will be carrying it with me beyond my time on the ice.

Ok, I didn’t realise I had so much to say, but I better sign off now.

If I do get a chance to use the internet on the ice – it might just be on twitter.

You can find/follow me at::: o_gabbyo

Otherwise there will be a flood of interestingness from November 10 when I am scheduled to be back in Wellington.