A Polar Night Blog

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    Above: Study 1 and study 1 retrieved writing

    Day 20 continued

    2100 I decide to revisit a place that, earlier in my project, I was too scared to draw in the darkness. I walk out onto the jetty which extends into the lake in the dark. It has warmed up to -3°. Still armed with a flimsy light, but less flighty and unsure about this place and all it's dark I spend an hour drawing near-blind (light off) exploring the landscape, lights and sounds of the environment as they change. As per my earlier study of 5am on day 19 I have retrieved and written down some of the specific moments otherwise buried in a mass of illegible scrawling.

    In study 1 (above) I get my bearings and focus on the light again. Study 2 begins to branch into some of the aural observations which I continue to explore in study 4 from a second location on the verandah of the outdoor sauna near the lake (closed for winter). I remain on the verandah for the rest of the hour. Study 3 is a text only reflection on the silence and a double account of seeing in the dark as my mood temporarily drops. In Study 5 I begin to enjoy the act of translating vision and sound in the dark, allowing my eyes and ears to play tricks on me and just trace the disparate pieces of the moment as they present themselves.

    On Day 22 I return to draw from the same positions at different hours. These drawings and annotations follow after the 5 x 2100 studies.

    Above: Study 2 and study 2 retrieved writing

    Below: Study 3 in 2 parts, writing only

    Above: 2 images, Study 4 and retrieved writing for study 4

    Below: Study 5 and retrieved writing from study 5

    Day 22, 17th December

    Rise time 1500 Scheduled bed time 0940

    1700 I return with my pencils and paper to study the two earlier sites (lake-from-jetty and lake-from-verandah) at different clock hours. This time there are some clear patches in the sky through which I can see stars.

    I begin with an exploaratory drawing, no annotation, in study 1. Whiled drawing I discover a peculiar visual glitch in the perceptions of light and dark thorugh peripheral vision which I move on to explore in study2. I have included the retrieved annotations for study 2 which document the way the darkest shades seen in my peripheries dissappear if I look directly at them. I note parallels between the rippling affect of light and dark, while visually scanning a horizon, and that of the light in the aurora. In study 3 I move on to explore the stars in more detail and begin to try and describe, through drawing, the differnce between stars in clear black sky and those obscured by different types of fog. While drawing I also pay close attention to my misperceptions of page space, finding conceptual parallells between my inability to estimate space and to estimate time in darkness. In study 4 I return to focus on the clear black of the sky finding, through the act of drawing, visual parallells between the shapes of the light and dark in this sky and those I drew in the river for my 1500 study on Day 20.

    Above: Study 1 no annotation

    Below: Study 2 and annotation

    Above: 2 images, Study 3 and study 3's annotation

    Below: Study 4 and study 4's annotation