Shackleton & The Endurance, Exhibition

Illustrations and an audio installation inspired by Sir Ernest Shackleton’s notorious 1914 Endurance expedition. I created these for the Drawn Chorus Collective’s exhibition ‘There and Back Again’ themed around exploration.

For: Drawn Chorus Collective

Skills: Illustration, Creative Direction, Watercolour, Oil Pastel, Ink and Pencil


'Endurance Trapped in Ice'

I’ve always been drawn to images of incredible Antarctic ice and after deciding to focus my work for this exhibition on Shackleton’s Endurance expedition, I became completely fascinated and obsessed with researching his story! I created four illustrations for the show depicting the Endurance ship becoming trapped in ice, the men’s temporary ‘Ocean Camp’ and their consequent march across the floes. 

After reading ‘South’ Shackleton’s personal account of the perilous journey, I was so struck with how eloquently he told their story that I wanted to find a way to share his words. With the help of my brilliant actor friend, Pip Donaghy and talented composer – my brother Mikey Parsons, we created an audio installation that allowed visitors at the gallery to immerse themselves in key moments of Shackleton’s adventure whilst viewing the illustrations.


'Ocean Camp'

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Shackleton & The Endurance Audio Installation - run time 18 Minutes, best experienced with headphones

I love immersing myself in the research phase of a project. To prepare for this show I watched documentaries on Endurance, listened to explorer podcasts, read Shackleton’s journal and poured over expedition photographer Frank Hurley’s pictures from their journey. I experimented with a variety of mediums and approaches in my sketchbook and created mockups of how I hoped to install my work at the gallery.

I was really pleased with how the project came together and especially enjoyed combining the Illustration work with the Audio Installation to find a more immersive and atmospheric way of telling a little of the Endurance Expedition’s epic story. I’m eager to work on more projects like this in the future that allow me to explore more incredible stories and find ways to bring them to new audiences.