The Polar Silk Road

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Step into a changing world at The National History Museum

Temperatures in the Arctic are rising at three times the global average. Soon, the once permanent sea ice will have retreated enough to open up a shorter sea route though the Arctic, exposing the area to increased travel, research and exploitation.

Gregor Sailer's photography exhibition The Polar Silk Road explores the existing, potential, and unexpected impacts of this new global trade route and documents this fast-changing region at a pivotal moment in its history.

In his UK debut, Sailer showcases 67 images of manmade structures captured across four countries in the Arctic circle and presents a short film discussing the wide-ranging impacts of the climate crisis.  From isolated research centres to Icelandic geothermal power stations, Gregor documents the changes taking place across the Arctic as people increasingly build on, exploit and research it.  

His images highlight human-made marks on the otherwise pristine landscape and question the possibilities of widespread environmental, economic and social impacts that further exploitation might cause.

Gregor Sailer is an acclaimed Austrian artist and photographer working in the fields of art and architecture. His works have won multiple awards and have been shown nationally and internationally and this is the first time his photographs have been shown in the UK. 

The Polar Silk Road is at the Natural History Museum’s Jerwood Gallery from 26 May 2023 with entry free of charge.

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