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ITW Ellie Ga, artist onboard Tara



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ITW Ellie Ga, artist onboard Tara

ITW Ellie Ga, artist onboard Tara

Do you keep abreast of foreign news?

This is not possible because we do not have access to the web. We do have a satellite phone, however, so it is possible to send and receive emails. Sometimes, some people send us international news by mail, but the better part of our knowledge on what is going on in the world concerns the weather reports and the satellite pictures of the ice.

Do you miss New York?

Now I do not. Life here is busy and very intense. I find it easy to forget civilisation.

What kind of sounds do you record?

There are many sounds here. In fact, I think sometimes that the boat is noisier than my street in Brooklyn! We have two generators that produce electricity. I record the sounds of these generators (like the engine of a big car), the sounds of shovelling, and the sounds of people, of our parties and of our music. There is the sound of the wind, of walks on the snow (these change with the temperature changes) and the dogs barking.

How do you do the laundry?

We have two kinds of water: water for the laundry, the shower and the dishes and drinking water. We break off the ice and put the pieces in a tub. The water heater is linked to pipes in the shower.
For drinking water, we use fresh snow. It is important that the snow be not too salty. We fill in three big bags of snow. When the snow has melted, we have water for our cooking and for drinking.

Is your artist work understood and encouraged by the rest of the crew?

This is a complicated question. Every body here has a specific role. I am the artist off course, but in everyday life, an artist does not have a specific role. It is thus difficult to watch the others work and say to them “I am sorry but I am the artist here and I must go in my room to make my art”. So I give a helping hand. I help Hervé accomplish the ice boring, the snow measurement and Tiksi’s training our youngest dog. After two months, I found a balance. I think that the others are happy to have an onboard artist. Everyone is curious. Finally, I presented to everybody my fist artistic creation that I accomplished here. I was nervous because my work was being seen by everyone for the first time. I think they liked it. The opinion of the crew is very important for me.

Are you scared sometimes?

It is difficult to say. Before I came here, I did not know what I would find here. Maybe I was afraid of not being strong or that life would be too difficult. But I then got accustomed to it. Sometimes I am afraid of not finishing all my projects before we exit from the ice.

Would you set off again to live through such an experience?

Yes. Again and again. I do not want this one to finish. Yet this type of opportunity seldom comes up. I know it is not possible. I am curious to discover the Antarctic and to sail in the North-West passage.

Tara 2006-2007

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