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Exhibition Review – Arctic: culture and climate at the British Museum from 22 Oct 2020 to 21 Feb 2021

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The British Museum presents the first major exhibition on the history of the Arctic and its indigenous peoples, through the lens of climate change and weather. The Arctic has been home to a number of communities for nearly 30,000 years, and the exhibition explores some of the cultures that have lived in one of the most dramatic environments on earth.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

With climate change transforming the Arctic at the fastest rate in human history. The exhibition entitled Arctic: culture and climate looks at the circumpolar region through the eyes of contemporary Arctic communities, revealing how Arctic peoples have adapted to climate change in the past and addresses the present crisis.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition brings together the largest and most diverse circumpolar collection ever displayed in the UK, including objects from the British Museum’s Arctic collection and international lenders and commissions, this exhibition reveals artistic expression and ecological knowledge, from the past right up to the present day.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Exhibits include rare 28,000 year old archaeological finds excavated from the thawing ground in Siberia, unique tools and clothing adapted for survival, artworks reflecting the respectful relationship between Arctic people and the natural world and photography of contemporary daily life.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Arctic Circle is the most northern region in the world which covers 4% of the Earth. It is home to 4 million people including 400,000 indigenous peoples belonging to one or more of 40 different ethnic groups with distinct languages and dialects. Most of the Arctic’s indigenous inhabitants rely on hunting, fishing and reindeer herding. These subsistence resources are supplemented by employment in industries such as government infrastructures, energy, commercial fishing and tourism. Arctic peoples have traded and engaged across the Circumpolar North for millennia. From Russia, Greenland, Canada and the USA to the Scandinavian nations, the peoples of the region have thrived within this ever-changing landscape.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition features objects from across the circumpolar region, including an 8-piece Igloolik winter costume made of caribou (wild reindeer) fur. Animals provides food for the community as well as clothing, all available natural materials are put to use.

Other highlights include a delicate and unique household bag from western Alaska, crafted from tanned salmon skin, a Inughuit (Greenlandic) sled made from narwhal and caribou bone and pieces of driftwood which was traded to Sir John Ross on his 1818 expedition, marking the first encounter between Inughuit and Europeans.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Arctic peoples’ responses to the establishment of colonial governments and state-sponsored religions in the Arctic will feature, including a bronze carved Evenki spirit mask that was made from a 17th century Russian Orthodox icon.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Many Arctic peoples are transforming traditional heritage to meet contemporary needs and the exhibition explores ritual practices to commercial artwork inspired by their storytelling and material traditions.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Stunning contemporary photography of the Arctic landscape provides a background to a wide range of of new artworks commissioned for the exhibition. These include a limestone Inuksuk, an iconic Arctic monument of stacked stones used to mark productive harvesting locations or to assist in navigation, built by Piita Irniq, from the Kivalliq Region of Nunavut, Canada.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

A new installation from the art collective Embassy of Imagination will present traditional clothing made from Japanese paper and printmaking by Inuit youth in Kinngait (Cape Dorset) and Puvirnitug, Nunavut, Canada.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This fascinating exhibition provides a timely insight into an often neglected part of the world. The stories of the various communities provide evidence of the remarkable abilities of communities to deal with different kinds of change and developing strategies to make best use of change. Whilst climate change is often discussed in an abstract way and from little personal knowledge, we might be better to listen to communities that have survived the disruptive effects of social and environmental change and created thriving cultures.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the British Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

 

The British Museum reopens to visitors on Thursday 27 August 2020

The British Museum will reopen to visitors on Thursday 27 August 2020, however there will be a number of measures in place to accommodate visitors safely and securely. The Museum will have been closed for 163 days, the longest peacetime closure in its 261-year history.

Visitors will need to pre-book a free ticket, with reduced numbers to ensure physical distancing and a safe and welcoming environment.

A new one-way route round the Ground Floor galleries will allow visitors access to many thousands of objects from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and Assyria, before exploring Africa, Mexico, North America and the Enlightenment Gallery. More galleries will reopen later in September.

The Museum is taking this phased approach to reopening to be sure they can accommodate visitors safely and securely. They will be keeping safety measures under review and adjust them as they learn how they work in practice and as Government guidance evolves. They plan to
reopen some of the upper floor galleries from Monday 21st September.

New dates are today confirmed for the Museum’s postponed spring exhibitions Tantra: enlightenment to revolution and The Citi exhibition Arctic: culture and climate. Tantra will open from 24 September 2020 (closing 24 January 2021) and Arctic on 22 October 2020 (closing 21 February 2021). Both exhibitions will have extended runs to ensure more people can see them whilst following social distancing guidelines.

The display of Edmund de Waal’s library of exile in Room 2 will be also open giving visitors a chance to see this thoughtful and reflective work before the books it includes are donated to the world-renowned library of the University of Mosul in Iraq which is being rebuilt after it suffered extensive damage under Daesh.

British Museum Trustee and Turner Prize-winning artist, Grayson Perry, has agreed to lend his work, The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, originally created for his British Museum exhibition of the same name in 2011. The Tomb is an elaborate, richly decorated cast-iron coffin-ship , a vessel weighted with the freight of Perry’s imagination and an eloquent testament to the countless unnamed skilled individuals – men and women – who have made the beautiful wonders of history found in the British Museum today. It will be displayed in Room 17, next to the Nereid Monument from western Turkey, built around 390BC.

Tickets will be available to book online or over the phone from 10am on Wednesday 12th August (www.britishmuseum.org, or 020 7323 8181). The Museum will open 10am – 3pm on the 27th and 28th of August, moving to 10am – 5pm from Saturday 29th August.

For more information, visit the British Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here