Let’s go to Greenland.

Summer in Tasiilaq
Summer in Tasiilaq

It was created in beauty. One October day the temperature drops 50 degrees in four hours, and the sea is as motionless as a mirror. It’s waiting to reflect a wonder of creation. The colds and the sea glide together in a curtain of heavy gray silk. The water grows viscous and tinged with pink, like a liqueur of wild berries. A blue fog of frost smoke detaches itself from the surface of the water and drifts across the mirror. Then the water solidifies. Up out of the dark sea the cold now pulls a rose garden, a white blanket of ice blossoms formed from salt and frozen drops of water.

I’ve wanted to go to Greenland ever since reading Smilla’s Sense of Snow (a gorgeous mystery novel excerpted above that I highly recommend). Today, my wanderlust got a massive boost from Visit Greenland‘s awe-inspiring Flickr account. I have never seen so many gorgeous photos of ice and snow! There are thousands of images of glaciers glowing pink and blue, colorful homes and starry nights, wild foxes and bears and seals, and native people proudly showing off their homes. I picked a few of my favorites, after the jump: Continue reading

Art of the far north: Zaria Forman’s Greenland farewell.

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 6.15.39 PMIt’s been a long, difficult winter. Frigid and unrelenting. Bitter cold in a way that feels almost violating, seeping under my clothes and into my skin, settling in my bones and turning those elegant calcified shapes into fragile pieces of ice, ready to shatter at a moments notice.

To be clear, I’m not a fan of winter.

But I am very much in love with Zaria Forman’s series of drawings, “Greenland: Chasing the Ice.” In August 2012, she lead an arctic expedition for the purposes of capturing the icy landscape in art. Inspired by her mother’s desire to head north, Zaria struck out on history’s second trip with this goal (the first was in 1869, led by the American painter William Bradford). Tragically, though Zaria’s mother was instrumental in planning the expedition, she didn’t live to see it through. “Documenting climate change, the work addresses the concept of saying goodbye on scales both global and personal,” Zaria writes. “In Greenland, I scattered my mother’s ashes amidst the melting ice.”

Whoa, right? It’s big, heavy, sad, lovely work. And the drawings, as you might have noticed, are stunning. Zaria also traveled to Svalbard (a peninsula at the northern tip of Sweden) and produced many drawings based on that experience. Her work is amazing. Delicate, detailed, but so, so cold. It makes me shiver to look at it.

Check it out here.