A Luxury Eco-Camp in Antarctica Is the New Home of a Monumental Orb Sculpture by Artist Anthony James


“Now I have an artwork on every continent!” exclaimed Anthony James. “I think it may be the first time in human history that a sculpture is properly installed in Antarctica.” The British-American artist recently returned from the luxury travel group White Desert’s new base camp on the icy continent, where his futuristic, geometric orb sculpture is the centerpiece.

Anthony James's orb sculpture, 60" Rectified Truncated Cuboctahedron (Solar Black) in the camp's gallery hub. Photo: Craig McDean

Anthony James’s orb sculpture, , in the camp’s gallery hub. Photo: Craig McDean. Courtesy of White Desert.

Installed in Echo camp’s gallery hub, the artwork is surrounded by six living pods that they look like they jettisoned from a chic starship. The theme for the camp is space exploration, which is apropos of the mind-blowing natural setting. The six bedroom pods were created from composite fiberglass with floor-to-ceiling windows to take in the sweeping view.

“There’s not another place in the world that looks like this!” James said. “It looks like you could be on a different planet, this vast white desert, ice as far as the eye can see—silhouettes of mountains in the backdrop and blue sky. This time of year, 24 hours a day, is the brightest light you’ve ever seen.”

Space-age glacier pod with a view: you really can't beat the scenery. Photo: Craig McDean.

View of a glacier from a space-age pod. You really can’t beat the scenery. Photo: Craig McDean. Courtesy of White Desert.

He added: “When you’re out there in Antarctica and you just see the white plains of ice, you can feel the rigor of the cosmos. There’s a certain serenity of infinity.”

Infinity is a theme of James’s Antarctica sculpture, and it’s part of his “Portals” series of stainless steel, glass, and LED orbs that he’s been creating since 2008. “I’m trying to visually demonstrate something that is very hard to comprehend,” he explained.

The artist Anthony James takes a breather during his Antarctica expedition. Photo: Craig McDean

The artist Anthony James takes a breather during his expedition of Antarctica. Photo: Craig McDean. Courtesy of White Desert.

The sculpture journeyed from Los Angeles to Cape Town, then on to its southern destination. The camp was built around it. Neither is intended to last; they’re eco-minded endeavors and will leave no trace on the Antarctic landscape. The artwork will be auctioned, with 20 percent of sales benefitting White Desert’s sustainability projects.


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