Thursday, 3 February 2011

Frank Hurley - Endurance: Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure (Liverpool Maritime Museum)

There cannot be anyone in the world that isn’t fascinated by Arctic and Antarctic exploration, surely!? The snow, the ice, the inhuman conditions, stories of endurance (pun intended) and bravery. Well, if you’re not, you’re wrong and you won’t enjoy the rest of this post.

It’s a well-documented fact that I am particularly enamoured with nautical themes, polar exploration and photography, therefore it should come as no shock to anyone that an exhibition of Frank Hurley’s photographs from Shackleton’s Endurance mission would tick just about every hypothetical box on my “What Jenna Wants to See at an Exhibition” list. I actually ended up going to this exhibition twice in as many days, escorting friends who are equally as enthusiastic.

I had seen some of Hurley’s photographs online and in poor resolution, so predictably they paled in comparison to the crisp, rich reproductions of the prints on show. A primarily chronological arrangement, then sub-divided by themes, or even just images which complemented each other aesthetically; I found that the groupings and progress of pictures was brilliantly done. Though only a small exhibition and space, it managed to tell a vast and overwhelming story.


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