Artists find inspiration in a lot of places, but few will ever know exactly what Durango artist Rebecca Barfoot will experience during her artist-in-residency in Greenland this summer.
I was doing some late-night Internet trolling and just stumbled on it, Barfoot said of her upcoming stay near the top of the world.
Beginning in late June, Barfoot will spend six weeks at the Upernavik Museum on the northwest coast of Greenland in the Arctic Circle. Her art and research project is called Last Places. Its about vanishing landscapes and the impact of global warming on Arctic communities and ecosystems.
Its the northernmost museum in the world, and judging from maps and photos, it probably feels like it, too.
Im curious to see how its going to feel, that kind of isolation. Its like being at the edge of the continent or the edge of the planet. I think its going to be powerful, Barfoot said.
Barfoot is a multi-talented artist who works in many mediums, but shell be limited by logistics for this trip. Her itinerary will take her from Albuquerque to Copenhagen to Nuuk, Greenlands capital and, finally, north to Upernavik. The airfare is daunting enough without adding shipping expenses, so shell only bring with her what she can carry. That means shell have photos, sketches, video, cyanotype contact prints, small paintings and recording informal interviews with local people. Her ceramic and porcelain work will have to wait until she gets back.
A lot of what Ill be doing is preliminary work for a presentation that Ill put together back in Durango and take on a traveling exhibit, Barfoot said.
She will live in a small cabin provided by the museum. Thats the only cost that will be covered, and for the rest, the working artist has set up a Kickstarter.com account to raise money.
That part of the project has led to some sleepless nights for Barfoot, but even thats good practice. Because she will be there June 30, a week after the summer solstice, theres one subject that wont appear in any of her work a sunset.
Itll be 24 hours of daylight, and thats something Ive never experienced. But some of my favorite art that Ive done has come when I dont get enough sleep, so that might be fun. Its also a little scary, she said.
Barfoot will announce the dates for her post-residency showings after she returns.