In Dcember 2013 Pollyanna’s latest painting expedition took her, and her daughter and business partner Anna-Louise, to the ends of the earth – Antarctica: the great white continent, one of the last true wilderness areas on earth, home to the world’s greatest concentration of wildlife, where penguins, seals and whales are the only permanent residents.
Pollyanna boarded a National Geographic expedition ship, joining their world-renowned photographers, and a team of naturalists and researchers to explore the abundant wildlife and spectacular scenery of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands.
The epic voyage departed from Ushuaia, at the bottom tip of Patagonia – known as the city at the end of the world - for a 48 hour crossing of the notorious Drake Passage - widely regarded as being the roughest and most treacherous stretch of ocean in the world. The winds commonly gust at 50 miles an hour and 30-foot-tall waves are not uncommon.
However Pollyanna’s crossing was blessed with calm waters – and the weather remained good throughout the entire crossing, with blue skies and sunshine almost every day – and unseasonably warm temperatures hovering around freezing. With very little wind, this meant Pollyanna was able to remove her thickest gloves, and spend long periods of time on the ice sketching.
The expedition ship, a class-one icebreaker (as can be seen in the image bottom left!) began by exploring the Weddell Sea on the eastern side of the Peninsula, which features huge tabular icebergs as well as colonies of Adelie and Gentoo penguins. Because the penguins have no land based predators they remain almost completely unafraid of people – and Pollyanna was able to sit amongst the colonies to sketch them.
The expedition continued south along the eastern side of the peninsula. Pollyanna and Anna-Louise spent Christmas day trekking up to the top of a glacier on Neko Island – and by Boxing day reached the British Antarctic Base at Port Lockroy, where they mailed postcards to friends and family – and had their passports stamped with a unique Antarctic visa!
Pollyanna was hugely inspired not only by the wildlife, but also by the magnificent landscapes of the Antarctic, the planet’s least explored continent. The most geographically and climatically extreme environment on earth creates sweeping vistas of ice covered mountain peaks and glaciers, with icebergs drifting through coastal bays. Now back in her studio, Pollyanna has already started work on a collection of work which will allow her to share her impressions of the spectacular beauty of the coldest, driest, but probably most awe-inspiring place on earth.
Immdiately following the expedition 14 photos were posted on Pollyanna's official Facebook page - follow the link below to see these images & all the latest posts!