A series of re-enactments of a photograph taken by Frank Hurley on the Shackleton Trans-Antarctic Expedition - 1914-16

2003/4, with an update in 2010

  • Waving in the Relief Boat – Frank Hurley (un-retouched negative)

  • Waving in the Relief Boat – Frank Hurley, Shackleton Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-16

  • Escanaba, Michigan 13/7/03

  • Escanaba, Michigan 15/7/03

  • Escanaba, Michigan 31/12/03

  • Seskarö Island, Sweden 29/1/04

  • Off the Sampo Icebreaker standing on the ice in the Gulf of Bothnia 30/01/04

  • Kemi harbour, Finland 1/2/04

  • Studland Bay, Dorset 6/5/04

  • Lone Tree, Iowa 18/3/10

On April 26, 1915, Ernest Shackleton, the polar explorer, left his men on Elephant Island in Antarctica and set off in a small boat, the James Caird, to seek help in South Georgia. After a perilous journey he reached the island and returned with a ship, the Yelcho, to successfully rescue all of his men.
Wave re-enacts a photograph taken on the day Shackleton left the island. Frank Hurley, who took the photograph, subsequently manipulated the negative, scratching out the departing rescue boat and leaving only a small rowing boat visible in the image. He then titled the photograph “Waving in the relief boat”, Suggesting that this was the day of rescue rather than the day of departure to seek help.
To reflect this deceptive title, Wave repositions those seen waving (from locations in the Northern Hemisphere) so they are facing south.
Wave was shown in Something Strange – Nerissuaq; Aine Art Museum, Tornio, Finland 6/2/04 – 21/3/04
Supported by Arts Council England, Arts Council Lapland, Central Saint Martins College of Art, Kemi-Tornio Polytechnic and Itchy Feet.
Organisation: Marika Väisänen.
Tapio Rissanen and Timo Ylifrantti made a documentary on the making of Wave.On March 18, 2010, Wave was again re-enacted. Year 5 at Lone Tree Elementary School in Lone Tree, Iowa posed for two further versions of the photograph. Their teacher, Annalise Conaway (my niece) posed for the first re-enactment of this project in 2003.

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