Artists and writers keen for an icy inspiration are invited to apply for the Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship.

The Fellowship is a rare opportunity for members of the creative community to experience Antarctica first-hand, and share this with the broader Australian community through their chosen art form.

The Arts Fellows travel south by ship or plane, and spend time at Australia’s Antarctic research stations.

Director of the Australian Antarctic Division, Dr Nick Gales, said Arts Fellows tend to see Antarctica through a different lens.

“This is an opportunity for creative communicators to interpret the Antarctic environment and their experiences within it, and share it with others on their return,” Dr Gales said.

“Artists are vital in weaving together the physical and emotional stories of the land and the people who work there.”

For many previous participants it has been a life changing experience, profoundly influencing their work for years after the Fellowship.

Adelaide-based speculative fiction writer, Dr Sean Williams, travelled to Casey research station in February this year to research an alternate history novel based on the Heroic era of Antarctic exploration.

“There’s no substitute for personal experience, being able to actually see the ice and feel the weather and meet the wonderful people who work down there,” Dr Williams said.

“Casey is just one part of a precious environment few can experience but all yearn to understand and appreciate. Being there was an extraordinary experience, one I’ll strive the rest of my life to capture in words for others to share.”

This year the Australian Antarctic Division has formed a new collaboration with the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT).

ANAT Director Vicki Sowry said for 25 years ANAT has been a catalyst for experimentation and innovation within the arts, science and technology, across the country.

“We saw a great synergy with the unique nature of the Fellowship and the cutting edge work we support,” Ms Sowry said.

“We will provide the Arts Fellow with financial support of up to $5000 to cover domestic air travel and accommodation costs in Hobart before and after the Antarctic expedition.”

Previous Arts Fellows include writers Tom Griffiths and Favel Parrett, visual artists Stephen Eastaugh and John Kelly, dancer Tina Evans, and children’s authors Coral Tulloch and Alison Lester.

Expressions of interest can be submitted online until 5 May 2017. Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to submit a more detailed proposal.