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Alumnus captures Antarctica's warm interior

Wednesday 2 May 2018 10:37am


Otago alumnus Guy Frederick’s photographic exhibition Postcards from Antarctica shows a seldom-seen side of the icy continent: he eschewed shots of the awe-inspiring landscape in favour of images of the interior and immediate environment of New Zealand’s Scott Base research station.

While researching his Otago Master of Science Communication in 2016 Guy was awarded an Antarctica New Zealand Community Engagement Programme residency and spent a week “on the ice” at the end of that year.

Photographs from the visit are on show at Dunedin’s Eskdale Gallery until 10 May.

Guy Frederick

In line with his master’s research based on the human experience of the continent, Guy’s focus was producing images that convey a sense of what it was like to experience the isolated, yet intimate, working environment.

“My attention was on areas like corridors, which connect the various modules of Scott Base. That’s where the human interactions and processes, which are an essential part of the Antarctic experience, take place. Generally these spaces have been overshadowed by the awe-inspiring landscape – which people working there can glimpse out the corridor windows when moving around Base.”

A paper from Guy’s master’s research is soon to be published in the Polar Journal.

“Scott Base is an epicentre for amazing research but it’s also a really intense place socially and professionally; everyone has a specific role to play and is focused on their job doing work that is so important to climate change and a range of other areas.”

Guy gained a Bachelor of Commerce (1994) and a Bachelor of Science with Honours (1995) at Otago before his interest in photography saw him move into freelance photography and writing.

After about 15 years’ work in this field he returned to Otago to study Science Communication to “upskill” to meet the media industry’s changing requirements.

“The nature of the industry has changed to be more of a multimedia environment. I wanted to produce content for a variety of platforms so I could offer a complete communication package. My master’s studies covered a lot of content quickly, but involved a good mix of practical skills so fulfilled the brief in terms of gaining skills that can be applied professionally.”

While on the ice Guy also completed a story for North and South magazine, and gathered material for a multimedia exhibition Postcards to Antarctica, which went on display at the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch for four months last year.

(Below; one of Guy's interior photographs of Scott Base)