jdc Fine Art in Gleneden Beach is proud to present a gallery exhibition of photographs, called “Svalbard,” by contemporary artist Ian van Coller. The gallery will host an opening reception this Saturday, May 21, from 5 to 7 p.m., with van Coller present. The exhibit will run from this Saturday through June 25.
Svalbard is described as a dramatic subject of rare beauty and complex history of human intervention. Situated midway between continental Norway and the North Pole, Svalbard is a gateway to the Arctic. The archipelago’s Arctic climate enjoys milder temperatures than other areas of the same latitude. Remote but not barren, Svalbard supports a unique ecosystem. Flora takes advantage of the midnight sun to compensate for polar night. It is a breeding ground for many seabirds. It is home to polar bears, reindeer, arctic fox, whale, walrus, among other species. Proximity to Europe made such resources easy targets for extraction. The islands were used as a base by whalers, who came in search of blubber; hunters who came for furs; and miners who came for coal.
Van Coller’s work depicts the traces and tragedies of Svalbard’s history of human intervention set against an awe-inspiring backdrop that engage every aspect of the sublime. These photographs are beautiful and, in harmony with the great tradition of the landscape genre, even a bit terrifying. A symphony of color dances on snowcapped peaks that plunge into smooth yet rippled waters. The environment itself is a living chronicle. Remains of human activity are everywhere — littering and interrupting place as much as disappearing, crumbling back into a time before the time before.
jdc Fine Art is located at 7755 Highway 101, Gleneden Beach. For more information, go online at www.jdcfineart.com, or call 619-985-2322.