This is the studio in October light as photographed by Lili Ong. I’m working on more
pieces for my Antarctic research station series at the moment. The next couple will
focus on Chinese bases, inspired by our summer visit to Shanghai’s Polar Research
Institute of China.
This vessel is one of my favorite Antarctic discards for its shape, color, material and texture. It’s also among the most mysterious. Any labels and markings are long gone, leaving only a threaded opening as a clue to its past life. I’ll venture to guess that it
was a fuel bottle, a standard piece of equipment past and present for use with liquid-
fuel stoves or motorized apparatus in the field.
This decades-old item was found at Marble Point by camp manager “Crunch” Noring
who’s contributed many other exquisite items to this project. Thank you once again sir!
This artfully rusted Cadbury tin was found and donated to the Long View Project by
Rae Spain, camp manager at Lake Hoare in Antarctica’s Dry Valleys. No identifying
marks remain apart from the script logo on the lid, but the artifact’s shape and size suggest it to be a can of Bourne-Vita, Cadbury’s malted drink product introduced
I consider it something of a companion piece to Sifta Sam, as both are Dry Valleys
discards made in England circa 1940s-50s. I’ll speculate that they both belonged
to the same research party, perhaps an early incarnation of the British Antarctic
Survey which has been the UK’s national Antarctic operator for over 60 years.
Intriguing also is the container’s hidden contents which rolls around with a dull thud.
I was briefly tempted to break the tape between lid and can to reveal the mystery,
but thoughts of encountering a congealed malt (or is it mold?) ball made me
reconsider. At least for now.