FINALLY! I finally have a way for people to buy a poster print if you’re still interested. For those of you that weren’t in Antarctica with me and didn’t get to see this project let me explain. From the beginning. One of my firsts days of work in Antarctica Troy and I were led up into the loft of a large storage building. We came in under a curved roof and there shoved against the nearest wall were three desks with three people that didn’t look like they should be behind desks. They were right in a little row like three children in school. Not only were they all dressed in similar Carhart overalls but they also had on tie dyed shirts. A girl with a shaved head, a guy in dreadlocks, it was like they had been kidnapped from the Rainbow Gathering and holed up in this massive attic at the bottom of the world. This was Supply. If you needed pens, a shovel, paper towels, it was the general store of McMurdo Station. This trio also had a water bottle sitting beside each of them and each water bottle itself was odd, covered in random stickers, like a skateboard.
Nicole’s really got my attention, it was almost a life size sticker of gerbils. Gerbils. Who else would ever have gerbils on a water bottle? And where would you ever find a sticker of gerbils? Troy and I were just getting used to the idea of carrying our water bottles everywhere. Everyone is a issued a water bottle as part of their Antarctica gear. The lectures in the safety meetings about the arid climate and the importance of drinking lots of water was itself a never ending stream. Most of the buildings don’t have running water, some work areas don’t even have running toilets. Yes, we used outhouses in Antarctica. “How cold is the toilet seat?” everyone asks. Well, for a toilet seat someone carefully carved it out of foam insulation. There were many offices tucked away all over the station with a big mustard colored water jug in it. It was up to the workers to refill it from time to time. And so, most everyone always carried around their own liter supply of water.
After seeing that gerbil sticker I wanted to see everyone’s bottle and as I saw the diversity in the people I was getting to know I could see that bottles took on the personalities of their owners. The variations of how a water bottle could be altered were so unique that I finally decided I would start taking pictures. How many water bottles could I get? What would they look like all together? This poster is an accumulation of my 6 months in front of the dish window chasing down water bottles I saw. It didn’t end at the dish window, there were many late night parties that I would see a new water bottle and I would run down to the cafeteria with my camera and my new bottle – my “studio” was set up in the dish room, it consisted of a white pale and the dish room wall. Everyone thought I was a little odd but everyone is odd in Antarctica. At the end of the season there was a group effort to help me put my vision into Photoshop. Thank you so much Christine Powell, Andre, and. . .the two guys that helped me get this printed. Shoot, it’s so sad to have the names of the people of my Ice year fade away. They were my whole life for 6 months and the names are escaping my head faster and faster. Anyways, some people, especially those that were featured in the poster, have asked for prints. Now I have prints available to everybody! That’s that. I have more plans for this. One day. One day I want to make a real art piece out of this. I don’t know if it really counts to be mimicking a pop art artist but I’m gonna do it anyways because it would look so cool.