Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Expeditions, global leaders in responsible tourism and expedition travel, have announced Change, a first-of-its-kind art exhibition aboard its polar new build, National Geographic Endurance. The innovative ship wide installation will be curated by acclaimed artist, Zaria Forman, whose dramatic large-scale pastel drawings documenting climate change are exhibited worldwide.
Change is the first-ever permanent ship-based polar art installation, incorporating a wide-ranging collection of drawings, paintings, video, photography, sculpture, and more, from 35+ artists. The collection has been assembled making use of the entire ship—both public and private spaces–themed deck by deck. From polar light and intimate looks at vast geographies, to human history and exploration in polar regions, to how we have come to understand it, the art provides guests the richest polar experience possible – and provokes thought and change.
Having first served as an artist in residence aboard National Geographic Explorer in Antarctica in 2015, Zaria Forman was the perfect choice to collaborate on this newly curated art experience. All the ship’s public spaces and a number of guest suites will feature original pieces, each including artist statements and quotes to give viewers a deeper understanding of how and why these environments have impacted the artist and their work.
“Zaria was challenged to mount the definitive polar exhibition aboard our polar ship, and her curation has, I believe, led to one of the finest collections of art examining the power and vulnerability of these rarified geographies anywhere in the world,” said Sven Lindblad, CEO of Lindblad Expeditions.
The exhibit includes experiential pieces, like a John Grade sculpture of glass and resin suspended from the ceiling that invites guests inside to enter sea ice floating on the surface of the ocean. Replicas of ice cores taken from Greenland’s ice sheet will run the span of a four-story staircase. Glass portholes that look into tiny hyper-realistic environments sculpted by Patrick Jacobs will reveal themselves with fisheye luminosity. The crackle of ice, looped on a sound recording, will provide guests the ability to hear the melodic songs of air trapped in the ice for hundreds of thousands of years being released into the atmosphere as a glacier melts.
“Every piece of art is proof of the profound impact this environment can have on an individual,” Forman said. “The exhibit will be a shared experience, enabling our guests to feel part of something much larger than their own individual observations. And hopefully it will guide them down the path closest to my heart – to be so moved by the landscapes that lay in front them, they will want to protect and preserve them.”
The exhibit also seeks to broaden guests’ perspectives – literally in the sense that it includes views not normally accessible to polar explorers, like undersea and aerial. And figuratively, with a look at National Geographic’s history of polar exploration that urges us to consider how those reports and stories shaped Western people’s first impressions and perceptions of these places. Guests will also be invited on guided and self-guided ship-wide tours of the show. Keepsake catalogues will be available for purchase.
“National Geographic has been telling important stories for over 130 years,” said Nancy Schumacher, EVP Travel and Tour Operations, National Geographic Partners. “We have embraced every media platform available and this is yet another example of pushing the boundaries of storytelling, providing a completely new way to engage and immerse yourself within the story in this unique art and travel experience.”
The launch of the 126-guest National Geographic Endurance, the first polar new build in Lindblad’s history, is a major milestone in the line’s legendary polar heritage. In 1966, inspired by National Geographic magazine, Sven’s father, Lars-Eric Lindblad, pioneered the first expedition to Antarctica for citizen explorers. Now, National Geographic Endurance is the 21st-century embodiment of the Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic’s joint commitment to explore and understand the world.