It’s one of the greatest survival stories of all time and now, nearly 100 years later, a new exhibition invites visitors to walk in the footsteps of famous Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and discover his epic voyage of survival for themselves.
Of the total Expedition of 56, miraculously all but three survived nearly three-and-a-half years of extreme and dangerous living and working conditions in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.
‘Shackleton: Escape from Antarctica’, is now on at the Penneshaw Town Hall from September 14-October 14.
It then moves to Kingscote Town Hall from October 16-November 20.
The exhibition brings together first-hand accounts and dramatic images by official expedition photographer, Australian Frank Hurley, to tell the compelling story of Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-17 and his bid to stay alive.
Shackleton set out in August 1914 with a bold plan to be the first to cross Antarctica’s vast interior.
His strategy was to have two parties working from opposite sides of the continent.
He would lead the Weddell Sea crossing party while a second Ross Sea supply party would lay critical rations ahead of him.
Both ships were ultimately lost to their crews (one crushed and the other wrenched away by the ice).
Shackleton’s party would never even touch the continent they hoped to cross, and the other would be marooned on it, desperately sledging across hundreds of kilometres of ice to lay depots for the party which would never come.
Through the eyes of modern-day adventurer Tim Jarvis AM, who recently re-enacted parts of Shackleton’s journey, and biologist and Shackleton fellow Mel Mackenzie, the exhibition follows the harrowing experiences of both parties and asks visitors to think about their reaction and decisions.
“I seemed to vow to myself that some day I would go to the region of ice and snow and go on and on till I came to one of the poles of the earth, the end of the axis upon which this great round ball turns.” – Ernest Shackleton.
Kevin Sumption, director and CEO of the Australian Maritime Museum said, “The story of Shackleton’s epic expedition thrilled thousands of visitors during its run in Sydney and we are delighted that this touring panel exhibition will share this fascinating story with people on Kangaroo Island.”
‘Shackleton: Escape from Antarctica’, is on display 9-5pm, Mon-Fri and 9am-noon on Saturday.
Entry is free.