For this year’s spring exhibition Bernheimer Fine Art Photography will be showing
Antarctica: A million Faces of Ice at the gallery in Briennerstrasse 7, Munich.
On display will be a collection of around 20 large format photographs by Sebastian Copeland, most of them exhibited for the first time. This is the most comprehensive collection of Sebastian Copeland’s photographic work on ice, comprising ten year’s worth of expeditions across the most distant and forbidding regions on earth. It offers a unique glimpse into this other world, right here on Earth.
Most of the exhibited photographs by the award-winning photographer originated from his last expedition across Antarctica. Captured high on the Antarctica plateau, during an eighty-two day crossing, these photos depict the open vastness of a world void of life whose only features are ones left by the wind on the ice, and the clouds in the sky. The features of the snowy and icy scenery—called “sastrugi”— are sculpted by the 160 km/h strong wind into rich and unique patterns. The abstract organic shapes, reminiscent of paintings or graphic art, all but blur the gap between natural and human art. The two are in fact profoundly symbiotic: these images remind us of a human spirit in the deepest and most desolate areas of Antarctica, places which had, until Copeland’s, never seen a human footprint.
The vast, untouched white and blue surfaces convey clarity, peace and silence. These are pictures of a remote world, forever changing, far from human eyes.
The Antarctic, which encloses the land and sea areas situated around the South Pole, is a place of extremes. It is the coldest and the windiest place on our planet; it’s mainland forms the biggest desert of the world. The Antarctic stores the biggest freshwater resources on earth, icebound in glaciers and shelf ice. Presently the desolate polar regions, both North and South are threatened by global warming. The ice melts faster in these regions than anywhere else in the world and climate change with all its disastrous consequences is especially evident. Massive icebergs, the size of city blocks, collapse down into the sea, and glaciers pour inexorably into the ocean. In short: the polar regions are at threat.
Sebastian Copeland is a world-re-known environmental activists, with focus on climate change specific to the polar regions. He is a board member of “Global Green USA”, the US affiliate of Michael Gorbatschov’s Green Cross International. Besides a sustainable lifestyle, personal engagement as well as responsibility is a huge priority. In the context of climate change discussions Sebastian Copeland recognises a fundamental communication problem; the use of language can often constitutes the greatest obstacle to an emotional connection. Therefore for Sebastian Copeland it is a logical step to support his activities as an environmentalist with his photographic works. The Polar Regions are foreign to most people. Geographically separate, they rather resemble a distant planet. Sebastian Copeland uses his photographs as a method to communicate his impressions and experiences gained in the Polar regions. With the help of his artistic means Copeland connects the viewer with the remote ice world, awakening awareness as well as an emotional response. He helps people to fall in love with this world, because to save something one loves is considerably easier. Sebastian Copelands photographs have an immediate effect on us.
Born in France in 1964, Sebastian Copeland spent years in advertising and celebrity portraiture before turning his exclusive attention to the protection of the environment and to fine art photography. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in film at the UCLA, the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1987. His works have appeared in various magazines, such as National Geographic, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Elle, GQ, Marie Claire, People, Publisher’s Weekly, The Face, USA Today and W Magazine. They are exhibited in international gallery and museum shows.
For over ten years Sebastian Copeland has served on the Board of Directors of the environmental organization Global Green USA. Sebastian has led expeditions across the Arctic sea, Greenland and Antarctica where he has opened new routes and holds four polar records, often setting his lens where no humans had been before. The photographs he took during some of these trips were published in books and magazine. His first best selling book won him the 2007 Photographer of the Year award in the book category from the IPA. The artist lives and works in Los Angeles.
In Germany, Sebastian Copeland is exclusively represented by Bernheimer Fine Art Photography and Flo Peters Gallery, Hamburg.