Burlington artist Sally Linder has spent years visiting the Arctic, sketching polar bears threatened with extinction. These exquisitely wrought paintings and drawings encourage conversation about what is happening because of oil, gas, and coal extraction, as well as global warming in this region at the top of the world.
There are no charted paths to follow in High Arctic waters, only narrow passageways between dense fields of ice constantly shifted by locomotive winds. Zigzagging, our grade two icebreaker moans as it slices further into six feet thick ice. Suddenly stopped by impenetrable white, the engine stalls and ice immediately begins to grow up the steel hull. Twenty minutes later we are ‘frozen in’, held tight in the Arctic’s grip.
In this state of suspended animation, at the top of the world where for four months the sun never sets, four-legged ghosts curiously approach across the frozen landscape. Cubs with mothers, roguish teenagers, massive males. Opening my sketchbook and aligning my penciled marks with the curvature of Great White Bears’ presence, an integration in this home of incomprehensible wild enormity takes form.
Exhibition sponsor Amy E. Tarrant
This exhibition is funded in part through support from the
Vermont Arts Council and Vermont Community Foundation.