June – July 1994
The American photographer Stuart Klipper has made several visits to the polar region of Antarctica. The first was in 1987 as a participant in the US Science Foundation's Antarctic voyages programme.
In 1989 Klipper was sent to McMurdo Station then on to the South Pole. He received the US Navy's Antarctic Service medal, a rare honour and is one of the few artists to have also received two science foundation grants to work in Antarctica.
In 1991 he made a further visit south and most recently, during November 1993 to January of this year, travelled to Antarctica on board the new US research icebreaker 'Nathanial Palmer'.
The photographs in this exhibition were taken during three earlier trips.
Stuart Klipper was born in New York in 1944. In the early 1960s he attended the University of Michigan School of Architecture where he studied urban design. Following his graduation he developed a strong commitment to photography and by the mid-1970s his personal philosophy concerning observation was formed. To Klipper his imagery is both symbolic and metaphoric. In 1987 after his first visit to Antarctica he stated that 'any work explores the nature of place and placement. I quest and wonder and stand in awe', 'the vast emptiness of the pole is laden with spirit'.
Through his Antarctic photographs reveal stark remote icescapes, Klipper believes that Antarctica is 'about as extra-terrestrial as you can get and still stand on this planet'. He does not accept that Antarctica is merely 'beautiful' or cold and forbidding.
('Images from a Frozen Continent', Bulletin, No.90, June/July 1994, p.4)
Robert McDougall Art Gallery - main gallery