Photography is the art and science of capturing light – Jean Brundrit
In December 2019 Jean Brundrit travelled to Antarctica aboard the South African research and supply vessel, the S.A. Agulhas II. Jean took photos with a lens made of ice. Most of the images within “Over the Horizon” were made with ice lenses (although there are a few photographs taken with conventional camera technology as well).
Jean is an artist and Associate Professor in the Department of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town, South Africa where she teaches photography. She is interested in the advances of visualizing technology and the opportunity that these developments present in making things never observed before, visible. In “Over the Horizon” she combines this interest with an area she has been exploring in her art practice -that of climate change and global warming.
So how does ice see the world? Is the horizon always clear? Jean Brundrit takes this one step further.
Excerpt from Field Notes in “Over the Horizon”
“At that time, I made a convex lens out of clear ice and photographed with it. The resulting image revealed enough information to decode forms and detail. The photograph reminded me of the optical phenomena I had read about in books detailing Antarctic expeditions, where all is not what it seems – where horizon lines can be difficult to discern, where mirages occur, and where the atmosphere can bend light around the earth’s curve. Sometimes, more than one sun can be seen in the sky at the same time.”
Her publication was announced during a talk that Jean gave while a visiting fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Loughborough University in the UK in September this year. Photos were on display at the seminar, “Looking through a different lens: light and images from Antarctica”, in International House, Loughborough University.
Her talk was about her creative process – the use of novel technology (ice lens), her methodology and her experience of taking photographs in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. She reflected on the research that informed the project’s conceptualization; how the project has developed after returning home; and her current ideas. Her talk can be viewed at on YouTube. Click here.
Above Left: Dr Marion Arnold, Jean, Professor Marsha Meskimmon (Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies). Above right: Ria Olivier and Jean with her book, “Over the Horizon” published by the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa.
See the video made by Alexander Oelofse of Making the Horizon.
The publication can be ordered with the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa.
Ria Olivier, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 19 October 2022