Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Iqaluit, Day 1: Arrival

At around 12 noon I landed in Iqaluit at the border of the Arctic Circle. The most remote capital in the world. The only city without traffic lights and only accessible by aircraft or boat. Allegedly an emergency landing site for the Space Shuttle, persistant rumours say.

And what am I doing here, you might ask. Well, that's a long story and it started some day in 2006 when I received an e-mail from a small publisher called Inhabit Media in Nunavut, asking if I would be available and interested in doing some illustration work for their Inuit Mythology Project. Since then I have been regularly producing art for them and recently they decided to bring me up to the Arctic for a month to work closely on projects and do research. Besides being totally over the moon about it, I cannot express how grateful I am for this once in a lifetime opportunity! So I decided to write about every day I am spending in Iqaluit. To value and treasure everything I learn here.

Right, the weather was marvellous today. Sun all over the place and mild -5 Celsius. It doesn't feel cold at all and the air is fresh and crisp and smells of ice. This is the house I am staying and working at for the next weeks:

My office is well set up and ready, I brought my MacBook with me, my tablet, pencils and stuff. The walls in the house are decorated with various original artworks from artists that worked on the Inuit Mythology Project. Plus, there's a real skull of a polar bear in the kitchen!!

After I settled in a bit, I took some pics of the neighbourhood and then they took me out for dinner to the Frobisher Inn where I tried my first arctic char. A delicious fish I have only been painting so far. And apparently it's not that easy to enjoy alcoholic beverages here. There are no off-license shops where you can pick up a six-pack or the occasional bottle of wine. You have to go into a licensed bar or restaurant if you want to have a pint. And that's pricey! So, yep. I guess I have to do without my "Feierabend-Bier" for the time being ;)