Felicity Jenkins 1997-98

Woman climbs iceberg with ropes and an axe
Felicity Jenkins climbing ice near Casey station in 1997. (Photo: Felicity Jenkins)

After finishing a degree in Visual Arts at the Australian National University, Felicity moved to Sydney to start freelancing as a photographer. Primarily interested in photojournalism and photomedia-art she worked on a number of jobs including stock photography, portraiture and community projects. She has exhibited work in a number of group shows in Sydney and Canberra, the last being at First Draft Gallery in Sydney.

Felicity's photographic work from the Antarctic has been collected by the National Library of Australia, exhibited in Sydney and was included in a travelling exhibition and book on Australian and Chinese relations by the Department of Foreign affairs and Trade. Currently she is working in digital imaging and teaching, while continuing to produce content for various photographic projects.

Antarctic impression

I joined ANARE in September 1997 for a voyage to the Antarctic, a place that I had only read about and, unbeknownst to me, would become the experience of a lifetime.

The short summer took me to Australia's four stations: Casey, Davis, Mawson and Macquarie Island and the Chinese stations of Mirny and Zhong Shan. I had the fortune to work alongside scientists documenting their research activities, and see first-hand how Australia is uses its resources in Antarctica. Over four months I travelled over 6000 kilometres by land, sea, and air, my expectations of such an isolated place were soon thwarted as I found within this wilderness a vast expanse rich with life.

On my return from Antarctica I realised my photography is about educating people through visual means. Nowhere can I go and talk about Antarctica without being bombarded with questions and endless fascination with a place untouchable to most people. It's a pleasure to be able to recount stories, experiences and knowledge of such a vast and mostly unknown continent. My experience has influenced my photographic work both professionally and artistically and I have focused my artwork on space and recurring patterns in nature, something of which the Antarctic holds with abundance.

'To hear eerie sounds in a barren landscape, wind whipping rocks, to feel the pain of cold fingers, and pin pricks of hard snow on your cheeks, to look into the eyes of a seal and see steam rise from its warm fur, then listen to it communicating below. To laugh at a charismatic penguin, to feel the ice you kneel upon move and crack around you, or to stand before a melting iceberg, searching for words to express its grandness... how do you describe Antarctica?'