Pat and Rosemarie Keough’s Antarctic photographs comprise one of the most stunning and diverse portfolios to feature the great white continent. Their international award-winning imagery encompasses landscapes, seascapes, ice, snow, wildlife, the hand of man, abstracts and realism.
The Keoughs’ compositions are strong and engaging. The images are vivid, tantalizing all senses, evoking the sting of ice crystals on one’s face; the clamour and odour of penguin colonies. One can practically feel the burnished texture of golden breast feathers on an Emperor Penguin, or the sun-scalloped face of an ancient, jade iceberg. Two austral summers were spent exploring and photographing the Antarctic from the windswept polar plateau of the interior to the mountainous coast, and from the off-lying islands to the icy seas and stormy Southern Ocean.
Text Excerpt Visually our world has been reduced to the white expanse of this frozen island and the vast, blue vault of the austral sky. Together these two simple elements — snow and sky — utterly dwarf our little party. We keenly feel the immensity of Antarctica and also a certain vulnerability even with the support of tents and aircraft. We stray not far from the familiarity and safety of our temporary camp, acutely aware that the nearby wall of ice fog could roll in or a blinding blizzard spring up, bringing with it bitter wind chill. In such situations people have perished when shelter only metres away could not be found.
Despite these threats, the profound solitude and beauty set our senses to a fine tune, almost quivering. The enormity of the polar desert commands our attention and captivates us. We are humbled by this pristine world, one that predates history and harkens to the ice ages of eons past. The challenge for us is to share this heightened awareness through the medium of photography.
“ Some photos are almost too real, like the paintings of Alex Coville.”