National Geographic Endurance debuts polar art exhibit, first of its kind, exploring reach of climate change

The National Geographic Enduance carries passengers to Antarctica.

Somewhere at the bottom of the earth, in the middle of the Drake Passage, giant waves crash against the National Geographic Endurance, a vessel designed for tourism and travel to Antarctica. Endurance carries 126 passengers and can cut through the thick sea ice and harsh waters surrounding the icy continent. Its purpose is to bring people to the farthest reaches of the planet as the climate crisis threatens nearly every aspect of life on earth.

“Good Morning America” traveled aboard the vessel to explore the impact of climate change on Antarctica and on its wildlife.

Climate change is also the focus of a first-of-its kind art exhibition onboard Endurance. “Change” is a collection of paintings, video, photography, sculpture and more documenting the beauty of nature and the threats facing the environment. It’s the “first-ever permanent ship-based polar art installation,” according to Lindblad Expeditions, an expedition travel company that works in partnership with National Geographic.

Artist Zaria Forman, who has made a career of documenting the climate crisis, curated the exhibit, which includes a collection of works from more than 30 artists exploring light, vast geographies (both above and below the sea), as well as human history and polar explorations.

With more than 300 works on Endurance’s decks, Forman says the purpose of the exhibit is a call-to-action on the climate crisis.

“Artists play a really critical role in helping to communicate these very complex issues that are involved in the climate emergency,” she told ABC News. “It spurs [us] into action to make decisions in our own households or companies that can help mitigate the crisis.”

Robert G. Mull

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