Barbara Rae: The Northwest Passage

Front cover image

Tagak Curley, Colin Greenslade, Duncan Macmillan, Tom Muir, Barbara Rae

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Royal Academy of Arts
Territory: World excluding USA & Canada
Size: 290 mm x 235 mm
Pages: 144
Illustrations: 130 colour

RRP £25.00

  • A new collection of works from the artist and printmaker Barbara Rae, inspired by the Arctic explorer Dr John Rae and exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, the Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney, and Canada House, London

In 2015 Barbara Rae travelled to Greenland on the trail of her namesake and fellow Scot, the surgeon and explorer Dr John Rae (1813-1893). Captivated by the 'wild sort of life', he travelled to the Arctic in 1846, learning local languages and survival techniques. His enlightened co-operation and collaboration with the Inuit - almost unheard of at the time - allowed him to discover the fate of Sir John Franklin's lost 1845 expedition, and to confirm the existence of the Northwest Passage, the maritime link between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

This book is the artistic result of Barbara Rae's extraordinary journey. Through the artist's deft handling of colour and line the frozen landscape of the Arctic jumps into life from the page. This special publication takes the reader on a journey of discovery from Scotland to the Arctic, and back again. Her vivid images are combined with insightful texts from authors including the Inuit leader and advocate Tagak Curley and the art historian Duncan Macmillan, as well as contributions from the artist herself.

Tagak Curley is an Inuit politician and advocate. Colin Greenslade is Director of the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh. Duncan Macmillan is art critic of The Scotsman. Tom Muir is Engagement and Exhibitions Officer at the Orkney Museum. Barbara Rae is a painter and printmaker. She is a member of the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Academy of Arts.

Below, from left to right:
Barbara Rae CBE RA, Northwest Passage No. 14, 2015. Mixed media on paper, 24.4 x 27.3 cm
Barbara Rae CBE RA, Dark Arctic River, 2017. Mixed media on paper (diptych), each 109 x 118 cm
Barbara Rae CBE RA, Dark Sea - Peel Sound, 2017. Monotype, 38 x 38 cm
Barbara Rae CBE RA, Ice Tracks, 2017. Mixed media on canvas, 183 x 183 cm
All images courtesy the artist