One hundred years ago, in 1914 Ernest Shackleton set sail with a team on the last Polar expedition of its kind, his aim to cross Antarctica via the Pole. This was the last great adventure of discovery, exploration today is rooted in scientific endeavor, and it is a story littered with intriguing details of reindeer skin sleeping bags, penguins, tinned food and lots of ice.
First year students from the Illustration Programme at Edinburgh College of Art were asked to respond to the story of the Endurance expedition and create an illustrated map of the journey. In addition to this they were asked to construct an artifact that illustrated an element of the narrative.
Maps come in all shapes and sizes. They are made for a specific purpose and include particular information that informs us, or take us on a journey. Students were asked to draw as many ideas as they could from the maps they studied in the immense collection of the National Library of Scotland – this included colour, textures used to mark terrain, timelines, lettering, borders, contour lines, latitude/longitude grids, references, size, shape….and of course the frying pan shape of Antarctica!
The results are currently exhibited in the National Library of Scotland, giving students the opportunity to share there illustrated discoveries with the public. A huge thank you to the National Library of Scotland for collaborating with us on this adventurous, challenging and greatly rewarding project.