Nordenskioldbreen Glacier, Svalbard Arctic Circle Photo: Elena Korotkaia
Nordenskioldbreen Glacier, Svalbard Arctic Circle Photo: Elena Korotkaia

Arctic exhibition at Crow Street Creative

HAILING from Russia, Elena Korotkaia is used to the cold, but photographing Svalbard, a remote Arctic island, in temperatures of -20 degrees took her breath away.

Elena persisted, and captured over a hundred photos of the remote islands' stark beauty. The photos she took will be displayed in an exhibition 'Svalbard - The Land of Dreams' at the Photopia Studio in the Crow Street Creative hub from March 21 to April 14.

Elena had dreamed of visiting Svalbard since she was a child when her father regularly sailed to the isolated Norwegian island as a ships engineer. After adjusting to living in tropical Queensland for the past five years, she made the journey to the Arctic in April 2017.

Elena not only had to endure extreme temperatures, but had to learn how to ride a snowmobile. She was accompanied around the island by a heavily armed guide in case of polar bear attack.

At times she felt overwhelmed, but her passion for photography and her love of the natural beauty of Svalbard drove her on.

"Most people in Gladstone wouldn't consider visiting such an isolated place like this, and it's so different from here," she said. "I think visitors to the exhibition would appreciate seeing photographs of a cold landscape while it's so warm at the moment.

Also, we found an abandoned coal mining town which has been frozen in time by the permafrost since 1988. When the Russian company stopped operations, Svalbard turned to tourism. Maybe this is a glimpse of Gladstone's future?" she said.

Svalbard 'The Land of Dreams" exhibition was supported with funding from Regional Arts Fund, an Australian Government program that is designed to benefit regional and remote arts practitioners, arts workers, audiences and communities.



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