The Launch Event for David Neilson’s – Southern Light: Images of Antarctica was held today, Saturday 17 February 2024, at the Angela Robarts-Bird Gallery, Gasworks Art Park, Albert Park, Victoria.

ANARE Club Member David Neilson was the recipient of two Antarctic Arts Fellowships from the Australian Government. His destinations included Mawson, Auster Rookery, the Framnes Mountains and the Northern Prince Charles Mountains.  David made a further three yacht voyages to the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia.  In 2009 he visited and photographed the Ross Sea region.

The Exhibition was introduced by renowned landscape and wilderness photographer David Tatnall.  Having also visited Antarctica, David Tatnall spoke of the difficulty of communicating the vastness of an environment which has few human scale reference points, a phenomenon described by NASA astronauts of their experience on the moon.  David compared that with the similar experience of the sheer scale of Antarctica.

During the launch David Neilson enthralled the audience as he took them on a trip over the sea ice from Mawson to Macey Island and then further across to Auster Rookery.  He described the magnificence of the scenery that revealed itself while the weather and lighting varied in the Antarctic midnight, then the challenge of working his large format film camera to photograph Emperor penguins at just the right moment, followed by the awe of seeing and photographing fresh rays of sunlight on nearby icebergs.

Each of David Neilson’s exhibits is a high-quality large print, magically rich with detail in foreground and background that is characteristic of large format “View Cameras”.  For example, look into the foreground of the familiar Mawson West Bay ice cliffs and you will see a tiny but detailed Adelie penguin.

David Neilson's Southern Light Exhibition Launch
Mawson West Bay Ice Cliffs. Photo: David Neilson

The Exhibition continues until 10 March 2024, open daily 9:30 am until 4:30 pm.

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