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Towards a Polar Sea (2005)

5 Channel Video Installation

4:3 PAL  DVD

Continuous Loops 

Towards a Polar Sea

Towards a Polar Sea marked the one hundredth exhibition at Frith Street Gallery, Soho,  since its establishment in 1989.

It takes as its starting point Franklin's account of his first disastrous expedition in the frozen wastes of the North Pole and combines this with the life of the present day Frith Street Gallery.

'Whilst reading of Franklin's exploits I discovered that he lived for a time at number 60 Frith Street, the location of Frith St. gallery, while writing his memoirs of his travels. This led me in turn to wonder about how we imagine a future for ourselves and pitch ourselves towards it, based on what we understand/imagine the past to have been.'


This multi – screen work then, is not exclusively about Franklin, rather it creates a sense of time and place, mixing fact with fiction, moving back and forth through history, in order to allow echoes of the past to surface amidst the contemporary world.

The work was filmed in Frith Street Gallery and is performed by Jane Hamlyn and the gallery staff- Karon Hepburn, Dale MacFarland and Charlotte Schepke. It was then re-installed in the spaces where each piece was made.


A publication accompanied this exhibition, comprising Irvine's edited version of Franklin's published diaries, beginning on the date of the opening, 15th September.

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