The Antarctic Map

Captain Robert Falcon Scott

(6 June 1868 – c. 29 March 1912)

he International Scott Centenary Expedition  (ISCE), was an expedition to the last tent site of Captain Robert Falcon Scott where they were to hold a commemoration service. Through the expedition they hoped to raise awareness of and funds for the Scott Polar Research Institute in order to support the living memorial dedicated to Scott and the Polar Party. There was to be an education programme and a public outreach programme. There would be a  Sledge Party and a Flight Party. The Sledge Party would take the route of Scott’s search party in 1912 and take provisions. They would then return overland – a journey of 290 miles.

The Flight Party would be flown in and this would consist of the descendants  of the Scott’s party, British services, major sponsors and a few lucky selected students, there would then be a memorial service on the centenary of his death.  The patrons of the expedition included descendants and also Admiral Sir Jonathan Band.

The map I was to produce was to be auctioned and part of the money raised would support the expedition.  One hundred prints were to be produced and sold to the same end. At least that is what I was told.

Research 

s I knew very little about the expedition I began researching.  My best source of research was the film footage produced by Herbet Ponting in his film,‘ The Great White Silence.’  It was the first time an expedition had been filmed.  Edward Wilson’s  great nephew, Dr David M. Wilson, who is a noted polar historian and has written and edited many books on the expedition, was also extremely helpful and advised me on certain aspects of Antartica.  He also gave me ‘Edward Wilson’s Antarctic Notebooks’ which I used for reference.

Testimonial from David Wilson

Cheri Hunston has produced a remarkable artwork. It makes a wonderful souvenir of this remarkable year. Her pen and ink work is distinguished and a worthy testament to the work of those she salutes from the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, especially mapmakers and artists.

She has incorporated so many references, both historic and current, into the details of her Antarctic centenary map that I constantly find new delights in it. It brings much enjoyment to this Antarctic buff and will do so for years to come to the hundred lucky people who manage to obtain prints. Congratulations to Cheri on a wonderful piece of work.

 

Dr David M. Wilson, Polar Historian and great nephew of Dr Edward Wilson of the Antarctic

The Blog

 

he map, not including the weeks of research, took me forty four days of working for at least seven hours a day to complete. I blogged each day and gathered quite a following from all over the world. The blogs are available for you to read at the end of the page or you can skip right to them HERE. They are a great insight into the creative process.  If that is too onerous, (and I wouldn’t blame you after reading this) then there’s a very brief summary in a flip book on the right.

 

 

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Exhibitions 

he ISCE loved the finished map proudly exhibited at Plymouth Museum as part of the Scott 100 Pole to Pole Exhibition. It was also exhibited at Admiralty House during a visit from Princess Anne.  As part of that day I attended the service at Scott’s Memorial in Devonport, Plymouth.  I recall being anxious on being introduced to Michael Tarver, the Author  of  SS Terra Nova (1884-1943) Whaler, Sealer and Polar Expedition Ship. I was nervous that I had not drawn all the rigging correctly.  Thankfully, I had. He wrote me a lovely testimonial.


A splendid portrayal of the expedition ship, presenting an exciting image of Terra Nova and complimenting this excellent illustration of maritime cartography.

Michael C. Tarver  Author  of  SS Terra Nova (1884-1943) Whaler, Sealer and Polar Expedition Ship

The Commemorative Service

he patron’s were extremely generous and I was invited to the Commemorative service at St Paul’s Cathedral.  The audience comprised of two thousand enthusiasts for polar science and its history: academics, politicians, ambassadors, Princess Anne, the then foreign secretary, William Hague, and the first sea lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope were in attendance. They were joined by descendants of those who survived and those who didn’t – Scott, Bowers and Wilson, Evans and Oates.  The Princess Royal read a lesson; the broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, read an extract from the final diary entry of Captain Scott and the Bishop of London, gave the sermon. You can flick the pamphlet below if you want view the service .

St Paul’s Commemorative service

The Auction that Never Happened

nfortunately, there were issues with the auction, ( none of which, I might add, were my fault or doing, nor the patrons) but which I will not go into here, and consequently, the map was never auctioned; no money was raised for the expedition from the original map.  I received no payment for the original map and all my hours of work. I was extremely disappointed. Subsequently, it is in my possession and I no longer undertake commissions.  Thankfully, some of the one hundred prints were sold at the time to raise money for the expedition.  After the event the remaining prints also became my property.

Me posing with the original map after its unveiling

The Expedition

he expedition did happen, but not in the magnitude that was first proposed to me.  Henry Evans, a student from Plymouth was among those  few selected to go.  I did various press interviews with him.  Henry has gone on to write a book about his expedition called: . ‘From University To The South Pole: The International Scott Centenary Expedition.’  The ISCE  team  sent me a postcard from the pole, which I still have and treasure: it’s from Antarctica!

In Conclusion

o there is the story of my journey and the making of the map – well part of it at least.  The map went on to be featured in the British Society of Cartography Journal and The Telegraph.  The map itself will always be a part of the commemoration of  Scott’s Centenary, and a small part of it’s legacy, as well as having a history all of its own.

I hope one day it will find a permanent home with someone who can thoroughly love it. Someone who can enjoy and appreciate the attention to the narrative, historical, geographical, oceonographical and cartography details.

If you are interested, you can read the day by day development of the making of the map in my blog below.

The Blog

Day 1 The Making of the Map

The ISCE have commissioned a map of Antartica to celebrate the centenary expedition leaving in 2012. After watching the Frozen Planet on BBC1 and also The  Great White Silence  a film by Herbert Pointing which was the offical record of Scott's journey and also from...

Day 2 The Making of the Map

Today I went to get my paper. I like Fabriano 300 mg hot pressed paper, it is a watercolour paper but it absorbs ink well and is not too bumpy. I have driven myself insane today trying to get the scale right 600 miles to 6 inches. I plotted out the basic outline of...

Day 3 The Making of the Map

Some decisions had to be made today. Having no brief to work from, I decided I was going to stick to the  map being as it is rather than  following conventional cartography methods of placing "North" at the top of the map. My reasons for this are aesthetic , but also...

Day 4 The Making of the Map

Added the chromometer, compass and sextant- had to move them around a couple of imes as they didn't look right. At the moment they are just sketches , all the detail I will do later and  directly with my pen and ink. Click on photo to increase size.    ...

Day 5 The Making of the Map

After researching the 'Ross' area of the Antarctic and the Beardmore glacier, I looked at Scott's route and was amazed to find variations on dates that Evan's  and Oates died. All dates for Scott, Bowers and Wilson are approximate but his last diary entry was on the...

Day 6 The Making of the Map

Lots done this morning...began with the Weddell seals and  then redid the humpback whale and repositioned it to give it more impact.  Additionally, whilst showing the seal, I wanted some action and a sense of story and consequently added in the Killer whales pushing...

Day 7 The Making of the Map

Well really this is still day six work as I worked into the evening. Began adding detail with ink.  I will continue with this today. I made the decision to include, amongst other areas of interest, all the place names that were called after Oates, Scott, Wilson and...

Day 7 continued.

From now on progress will be slow because of the nature of the work. I have been doing the scroll all afternoon and still haven't completed.  I use  a Copic  Multiliner pen and a Rotring architect's pen to get the finer ink detail. I still need to finalise the...

Day 8 continued

Well, Albert and I became better aquainted. Then I studied the photographs I had taken of the sea and also how Dore, Rachkam and other artists, particularly of the old maps had  captured the sea in ink. What is most difficult I think is imagining how the water would...

Day 9 The Making of the Map

Spent the morning researching  Art Nouveau backgrounds. I wanted to include a 'flavour' of Art Nouveau somewhere within the map because the movement was quite strong in the  1900s. However, because the majority of Art Nouveau is based on nature and primarily plants,...

Day 10 The Making of the Map

There was no post yesterday because my day was taken up with choosing and ordering the mount and frame for the final picture. I chose a thick black frame with gold border, a cream mount with a v groove and a black inlay followed by a gold inset. I can assure you, it...

Day 10 continued….

Well, spent a few hours this afternoon on the rope border and I have a few several more hours to do on it too! I particularly wanted the rope in because when watching Ponting's film of the expedition there were ropes everywhere: ropes lifting ponies off the ship in...

Day 11 The Making of the Map

A slow morning in that I detailed the compass in pencil and then after some more research wondered whether a bigger compass without a case (like they used to have on old maps) would look better (see picture below), so I rubbed out the one I had drawn and then...

Day 12 The Making of the Map

Pony day today. Today I worked on  the right hand side of the map on a small circular  section which  will eventually look like torn old paper. Within this section I decided to try and reflect a crucial aspect of the expedition: the use of horses, opposed to...

Day 13 The Making of the Map

8 hours of paper, rope, with a bit of sledging. Sometimes  with a piece like this is can look as if very little is happening when in fact  several hours work have been put in.  This morning I began working on the sledge that the pony was pulling and again had to add a...

DAY 14 The Making of the Map

Weddell Seals and Killer Whales today.  I wanted to put the seal near the Weddell sea, plus I wanted it on ice as from my research I found there was sea ice around the Weddell Sea. whales hunting a seal Initially I was going to have the whales hunting and creating a...

Day 15 The Making of the Map

Day 15 already! Penguin day! Today I began with the sextant and then moved on to the penguins. I had to  make the decision whether to use Emperor or Adelie penguins. Difficult choice. My research informed me that Emperor penguins stay on the ice  (well the males do)...

Day 16 The Making of the Map

Apologises for it being so late for the post, but I have only just finished for the day and it is 11.20pm. Began by detailing the journey to the south pole and investigating a variety of sources and dates. Looked at the mountain ranges and  used the  details on the...

Day 17 The Making of the Map

I began by  doing the scale this morning. My scale is approximate because I don't claim to be  a cartographer, nor is this a gegraphical or survey map, it is art work. I have been as accurate as art allows. I added the scale  next to the penguin. This scale design I...

Day 18 The Making of the Map

Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink! The Southern Ocean beckoned and I fought valiantly with my little ink pen. I had studied numerous ink drawings of the sea, from Dores' illustrations of the Ancient Mariner, to Arthur Racham's Leviathan and of course...

Day 19 The Making of the Map

Day 19 picture is at the end of this blog. I twisted some more rope down the right hand side whilst I mused over a dilema: what are the currents and winds like around Antarctica and how would that affect the waves and their direction? I had tried in vain to get a...

Day 20 The Making of the Map

Many apologies today, but unfortunately I  have not been well (first day of a cold) and had to take my first day off in 20 days! Am sure I will be back to it tomorrow, so please check in. Rope and scrolls and seas tomorrow!

Day 21 The Making of the Map

Sorry. Still ill.  Will definitely be back tomorrow though so please check back.  

Day 22 The Making of the Map

Not a full day back but  managed a few hours today. After  my dilemma regarding the sea on day 18, Dr David Wilson kindly  suggested I  look up diagrams of the ocean currents around Antarctica and I am very grateful for being pointed in the right direction, literally...

Day 23 The Making of the Map

The map was due to be auctioned today: the 3rd of December at a dinner at the Painted Hall in Greenwich. However, on Tuesday last week, the ISCE informed me that they felt the map warranted an auction of its own and that auctioning it at the Painted Hall would mean...

Day 24 The Making of the Map

I began today by researching  how waves react around land. It struck me that whenever you are on land the waves seem to come towards you and consequently that got me thinking about how that fits into the larger pattern of the picture. I looked over the picture I took...

Day 25 The Making of the Map

Only just finished for the day- well almost, so I apologise for the blog being so late. I focused on perspective today. You might recall that I said I wanted it to look a little strange, but I also wanted it to flow and look fairly natural too- I know what I meant!  I...

Day 26 The Making of the Map

Apologies that there was no blog yesterday: I had to lecture at Plymouth University. Today I am overjoyed as I have just taken possession of an A0 drawing board from an architect. My back is saved! I was working leaning over a table, or on a desk  mounted drawing...

Day 27 The Making of the Map

Icebergs again today. Again I began by  searching the internet for icebergs. In the end I drew freehand  from my imagination and took elements off  certain icebergs I had found because I simply couldn't find the right shapes. I began by  inking the circular shape...

Day 28 The Making of the Map

Hello! Three days off, I bet you thought I had got another cold or given up. No, personal circumstances that's all. However, I have still been working on the map, just researching and thinking and sketching. You may recall that I said I was considering changing the...

Day 29 TThe Making of the Map

The Ross  sea and icebergs changing into clouds were on my list for today. Last night after the blog, I managed a couple more hours. The darkness of the sky and sea really makes the icebergs and Antarctica stand out. My aim was to work on the left hand side today. I...

Day 30 The Making of the Map

A full day on the Ross sea, ice bergs and clouds. My aim was to try and  match up the left and right hand sides of the map but at the same time make them look different. On the right I moved from waves to clouds and on the right, ice into clouds. The icebergs are...

Day 31 The Making of the Map

Perspective was my  puzzle again today. I had moved from the eye line of the seal to the clouds and then the horizon and now I needed to bring the waves to the foreground thus  bringing the Adelie pengiuin to the correct level. I also had to consider the pattern of...

Day 32 The Making of the Map

I worked on the  Davis sea today working my way up towards the Terra Nova. I had studied the currents earlier in my research and noted the East Wind Drift that moves around this area and I wanted to make sure the waves were moving in the right direction. You will...

Day 33 The Making of the Map

Yes, I even work Sundays!  The quote, 'to strive,to seek,to find and not to yield' (especially the 'not to yield')  seemed very apt to me this morning as the sunshine and the garden called. I continued working over the waves at the bottom of the map and tweaked them...

Day 34 The Making of the Map

Still working. I lost track of time and  forgot to blog! It's twenty to one! oops. Sometimes you can get into a zone where time just whizzes past and the art work  comes so naturally and other times it is a real struggle to  get the right flow and relax into the work....

Day 35 The Making of the Map

Tidying the sea again today. I have put day 32 alongside todays so you might see the difference. The main area is along the top, but if you look from The Ross Sea up and then from the whale to the Larsen ice shelf, you should see a difference. The waves are now...

Day 36 The Making of the Map

Worked on the bottom  scroll today and over 'The International Scott Centenary Expedition' writing, which I wanted to blur a little in places in an attempt to age it just a little. I wanted it to be darker than the top scroll to work with the lighting but also to...

Day 37 The The Making of the Map

Merry Christmas! Today I worked for a few hours on the rope down the right hand side. It takes  half an hour per three to four  sections. the  challenge with the rope is consistency. I want it to look the same  but additionally, I don't want it to look new and...

Day 38 The Making of the Map

I hope you all had a great Christmas. I started back yesterday, but there was little to show for my efforts because a great deal of it was measuring  in pencil. I marked out the border of rope and completed the right hand side and corner. Today I have worked on the...

Day 39 The Making of the Map

Spent the afternoon measuring, measuring  and measuring. The rope border needs to be fairly even because the mounting board will sit quite snugly next to it. The rope thickness and width plus the distance between the parchment and rope and other objects needs to...

Day 40 The Making of the Map

Day 40. Finishing the outlines of the rope border and shading has been the bulk of my work today. I have however inked the  lines on the centre of the map and experimented with the middle of the map : the south pole. It will not stay this way as I am not happy with it...

Day 41 The Making of the Map

More rope today I'm afraid, so a little monotonous for the reader and viewer. The shading by doing numerous lines to build up the texture of the rope is a long process and it takes 7 hours for me to do one row of the rope. Today I completed the bottom section of the...

Day 42 The Making of the Map

This is actually yesterday's work. It was far too late (or early) to blog when I had completed and so it is double blogging today. I almost completed the rope border, but need to add final touches today to even out the lighting. So onto today and tightening the...

Day 43. The Making of the Map

330 hours 43 days and finally, it is complete. I completed the rest of the rope today and then wrestled with the colour. After scanning the map and experimenting with colour in Photoshop to see what it would look like with the colour added, I decided against it. The...

Day 44 The Making of the Map

Happy New Year! At last the map is scanned and framed. I apologise for the delay but I had to  visit Austria and check out their snow for a week and meanwhile the framing and scanning took place. Firstly, I took the map to Bretonside  Copy and they scanned the image...

Original   £6,500

Limited Edition  £450