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My Influences. Mining and Travel (Spitsbergen / Norway)

My art has definitely been influenced by my travels and my obvious interest in the subject. But one of the more influential geographic locations Has to be Spitsbergen and Norway generally up above the Arctic Circle. The light on its own was just marvellous. This has to be one of my favourite if not the favourite posting I ever visited during my mining career. The first time I ever experience sunlight for 24 hours. And of course if you are lucky the northern lights. There is ethereal quality about this location but can only be experienced by visiting one of the last wildernesses on Earth. I’ve put together a little montage of photographs that I have taken and also been given by colleagues and friends including Harry who lives in Tromsø. The whole experience of visiting Spitsbergen is wonderful. The town of Longyearbyen is often used as the starting point for many polar expeditions and to have that as a base camp is unique.

We would then have to use the small company aeroplanes to fly from Longyearbyen over the glacier to Svea at the mine site. I have some pictures here where the team are loading up with our spare parts that will fly with us.

Or a real enjoyable experience (which unfortunately I didn’t manage) was go over the glacier on a snowmobile.

I did travel this side of the glacier to mine 7 and the sites are amazing from driving past outpost where the sledge teams dogs dinner (seal carcasses) are strung up on tripods to keep them away from predators. Or The international seed bank tunnelled into the side of a mountain with the worlds population of seeds if ever required in some sort of catastrophic world event.

And of course polar bears (I’ve never seen one in the wild) only the ones that I have stood under in hotels and customer offices. (Stood under these I certainly would not want to be too close in real life) .. and of course the people there .. all so friendly .. and all look so healthy !! I must visit again but this time take my wife

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