RCGS EX­PE­DI­TION FUND

Canadian Geographic - - YOUR SOCIETY - —Nick Walker

Ex­pe­di­tion, a new paint­ing of po­lar ex­plorer Sir John Franklin’s HMS Ere­bus and Ter­ror, is ded­i­cated to the 129 men of the voy­age who sac­ri­ficed their lives to bring a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the Arc­tic to the West­ern World, ex­plains artist Christo­pher Walker. Walker, whose paint­ings have been ex­hib­ited in gal­leries across North Amer­ica, is known for his pro­gres­sive style of re­al­ism. He be­came a Fel­low of The Royal Cana­dian Geo­graph­i­cal So­ci­ety in 2016, and cre­ated the “RCGS Ex­pe­di­tion Fund” to help sup­port the So­ci­ety’s sci­en­tific, ex­plo­ration and ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams. (Pro­ceeds from the sales of lim­ited edi­tion prints of Ex­pe­di­tion will be do­nated to the RCGS.) To en­sure that ev­ery de­tail in the paint­ing is ac­cu­rate — from the rig­ging and iron-plate ice re­in­force­ment on the bow to the size of the crew on the deck — Walker worked with the orig­i­nal ship plans from the Na­tional Mar­itime Mu­seum in Lon­don, and in part­ner­ship with mar­itime arche­ol­o­gists. The re­sult is one of the most au­then­tic rep­re­sen­ta­tions of the ves­sels ever made. “From an artis­tic point of view, paint­ing this was like an ex­pe­di­tion,” says Walker. “There is an­guish be­hind the ex­treme ac­cu­racy in this paint­ing, which I car­ried through to the end.” Per­haps most no­tably, rather than fix­at­ing on the peril, hard­ship and suf­fer­ing typ­i­cal of de­pic­tions of Franklin’s fi­nal voy­age, Ex­pe­di­tion cap­tures the ar­rival of Ere­bus and Ter­ror at Beechey Is­land — a mo­ment full of de­ter­mi­na­tion, gal­lantry and hope. To pur­chase a qual­ity re­pro­duc­tion of Ex­pe­di­tion and sup­port The Royal Cana­dian Geo­graph­i­cal So­ci­ety, visit rcg­sex­pe­di­tion­fund.ca.

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