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MAR-ECO exhibition on Iceland

The artist Ørnulf Opdahl and the photographer David Shale, both participants on the RV G.O. Sars cruise last summer, has opened exhibitions in the Nordic House in Reykjavik, Iceland.

By Anette W. Petersen

The exhibitions, which opened April 30th, are element of the centennial celebration of the peaceful end to the union between Norway and Sweden on June 7th 1905 and as such supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Iceland. They ara a result of a cooperation between the Embassy, MAR-ECO and the Marine Institute of Iceland, represented by deputy director Olafur Astthorsson and senior scientist Astthor Gislason.

On display are both works by Opdahl, photos by Shale, together with presentations of the Icelandic contributions to MAR-ECO. There will also be scientific lectures and public showing of the NRK documentary “Havlandet”.

Art and photos - unique visualisations

The British wildlife filmmaker and photographer David Shale shows photographs of deep-sea creatures taken during the MAR-ECO expedition of the Norwegian research vessel G.O. Sars in summer 2004.

David Shale holds a PhD in biology from Reading University in the UK. He was researcher at the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences for eight years, participating in many oceanographic cruises, in particular to the North-Atlantic. For the past 26 years, he has been a freelance wildlife filmmaker and photographer, and was recently involved in the making of the BBC series, Blue Planet.

Ørnulf Opdahl is Norway’s most distinguished contemporary landscape painter. Opdahl joined the MAR-ECO cruise 2004 for one month, as the ship’s artist onboard RV G.O. Sars. Impressions was gathered in the form of sketches and watercolours which he will continue to work on as the basis for oils, watercolours and prints. Some of the motifs of this work are recognisable in nature (studies of sky and sea, the diversity of deep-sea lifeforms, activities on the trawl deck), while others tend to be non-figurative.

Travelling exhibition

The first MAR-ECO related exhibition, “Secrets of the Deep Sea”, opened last June at the Bergen Museum (Norway), and from October Opdahls sketches and watercolours from the cruise was displayed at the Henie-Onstad Art Center in Oslo (Norway). This joint exhibition is the first of hopefully several MAR-ECO exhibitions throughout the participating countries. Horta in the Azores will be the next stop.

- We are planning a more extensive travelling exhibition, with elements ranging from historical sketches from the 1910-expedition, art, photos and videos, to biological samples and scientific findings, tells MAR-ECO’s project leader, Odd Aksel Bergstad.

~ read more about Ørnulf Opdahl 
~ see presentation of the Opdahl and Shale exhibitions at the Nordic House website
~ read more about the Marine Institute of Iceland


Ørnulf Opdahl

The opening ceremony

Photos by David Shale

The audience

Posters showing the Marine Institute of Iceland's role in MAR-ECO
Photo: Thomas de lange Wenneck
David Shale

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