An exhibition by British photographer Edward Longmire featuring 30 stunning photos taken during a trip to Antarctica in 2019 will be inaugurated at the Museum of Natural History and Science in Lisbon on Thursday (December 16).
It will remain on display until February 28, 2022, in a bid to highlight the beauty of the world’s most deserted continent but also raise awareness about the threats it faces.
“More and more I was reading newspaper articles about global warming and the havoc it was causing on the environment. With the amount of travelling I was doing myself, I knew my activities had a price, especially when it came to my use of commercial aircraft. I wanted to put something back into society and decided to develop the opportunity to present a world out of reach to most people, namely Antarctica, that was in danger of disappearing forever if we didn’t take quick action,” the 54-year-old photographer told the Resident.
In order to get there “cheaply and as environmentally-friendly as possible”, he ended up sailing to the continent from Ushuaia in southern Argentina on a boat through Drake Passage – a body of water known to be one of the most treacherous in the world to sail through. It was a journey that he described as “extremely rough at the best of times” but that was worth it in the end as it provided him with an experience he will not soon forget.
“Antarctica was like nothing on earth,” he told us. “The stillness, the silence, the desolation and yet the enormity, the magnificence and the splendour of it: truly a visit to another planet.”
While Edward said he is “not a wildlife photographer” nor had “the appropriate lenses”, meaning he was “guided towards more landscape and animal formations by default”, he believes this was not an issue as it helped him come away with something “different”.
While he hopes his exhibition will give visitors a taste of what Antarctica is like, the photographer is aware of just how unique an experience his journey was.
“To know Antarctica, you had to have visited in person, irrespective of how many documentaries you might have watched on television, and I knew I was incredibly fortunate to have been there. I also knew I had to join the growing throng of people telling the world that the whole place was under threat, and a visual transportation, in the form of a photo exhibition, seemed appropriate,” he said.
So how is the exhibition making its way to Lisbon?
“I was directed by a number of generous curators to approach the National Natural History Museum in Lisbon, a city I was becoming increasingly drawn to, and they were immediately interested in the project. Eighteen months and two exhibition opening postponements later, here we are,” said Edward.
The exhibition can be visited between Tuesday and Sunday from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 6pm (last admissions at 5.30pm). Admission is €5.
www.edwardlongmire.com | Instagram: @eddie52
By MICHAEL BRUXO