The artist traveled to Antarctica in 2006 in the Argentinean icebreaker Almirante Irizar. During 38 days, she painted the white continent without seen the night. The challenge of using watercolor paintings in a frozen environment.
Someone can be attracted byAntarcticafor many reasons, but it is never by chance. As an artist, marina Curci dreamed on painting about the white continent and in 2006, thenks to the Cultural Program of the Dirección Nacional del Antártico, se was able to do it. But, ¿WhyAntarctica?
“In the first place it has to do with my search in painting that is related to nature. The look for extreme landscapes far away from human intervention, specially strong ones like cities”,Marinaexplains.
The history about how she got to be interested inAntarcticagoes back several years. In 1995 she graduated from the Fine Arts School Prilidiano Pueyrredón, and between 1997 and 2001 she studied drawing and painting with the great teacher Guillermo Roux. Meanwhile, during 1999, she worked as his assistance in the creation of a mural for thetowerofBank Boston’s headqarters inBuenos Aires.
“I started there painting the river, the city landscape, and started to dream about traveling toAntarcticaon board the Irizar icebreaker. I wanted to get to that extreme scenery, completely different to any other we are used to”.
She painted the icebreaker from the heights ofBuenos Airesfor 5 years and in 2004 she exhibited her work. This allowed her to get in touch with the icebreaker and the Antarctic activity to make her dream come true. Curci traveled a lot to thePatagonia, where she painted landscapes and got into the vegetation. She has been in the woods and mountains, and getting to Antarctica has allowed her to establish a new relation with nature.
One of the conclusions she arrived to is thatAntarcticawidened her points of view: “It allows you to observe yourself from a different angle where you find a lot of this that you can’t rationalize because you don’t havew the means to do so. Iit something that you achive as you make up your life”.
One of the things the decided when she started to paint is that she would do her own version ofAntarctica, because there are infinite ways of thinking and seen that environment. “I am going to do my version ofAntarctica, and I am going to do something within my capabilities. At the same time it will arguable, because it will be on paper”, she said o herself.
In 2006, the icebreaker Almirante Irizar departed toAntarcticawith all her equipment. She would board on a second stage to reach Belgrano II Station, the southernmost Argentinean research station. At last, in January, she boarded the vessel in Ushuaia invited by the Argentinean Navy.
Marinaplanned the trip for six moths and knew that she would spend most of the time on the ship and that what she painted had to be done in very short time.
While sailing, she didn’t have to think in every day tasks like eating or sleeping. She remembers that was what shocked her most, everyday life: eating, sleeping and talking over the phone.
“Cities are enormous and unembraceable, but the mini world of the ship was just there”, she remembers.
On board, marina was surprised by the very friendly and supportive attitude that everyone had. At the same time, she found herself in a permanent daylight scenery, and realizaed that she was not going to see the night for 38 days. At the beginning she couldn’t imagine how her life would be without night, but later she found that life in the ship kept her ordered.
Marinatook with the same equipment she uses regularly, all of them water-based and mainly watercolor paintings. Although she had been advised to take special elements, she decided to challenge her own equipment to the Antarctic environment to find out what would happen.
The first time she went outside was during a stop that allowed her to get used to the cold climate. After 17 brushstrokes, the pencil started to crystallize and she could see how the water in the flask froze. From that moment, she decided to play along with nature and find out how far it would allow her to get. Everyday was a completely new experience.
“I remember having a chunk of ice on the paper and when I went inside it melted leaving an artistic mark”, she recalls.
The voyage allowed her to concentrate in new ideas for her work. To polish her paintings and get rid of structures. Images started to turn into ideas, concepts. When she got back toBuenos Aires,Marinacontinued working on the series of paints on vegetation she had started before leaving. Those who had seen her previous work, say that everything she has done since she came back fromAntarcticareflects something of what she experienced there.
Then, she realized how nature unites itself.