by Inigo del Castillo in New Art on Sunday 5 January 2014

Chasing the Light was an Arctic expedition on-board the Wanderbird back in August 2012. The destination: Greenland. Purpose: Art. The expedition was the second of its kind, the first was in 1869 by American painter William Bradford. This time, it was led by pastel artist Zaria Forman. The results of this expedition are the surreal and life-like pastel paintings of Greenland’s stunning and lonely icebergs. But despite the cold and almost-haunting images of the frozen landscapes lies a heart-warming story.

The inspiration for the expedition came from Zaria’s mother, Rena, did not live long enough to be part of the epic voyage. Zaria says on her website: ‘My mother, Rena Bass Forman, had conceived the idea for the voyage, but sadly did not live to see it through. During the months of her illness her dedication to the expedition never wavered and I promised to carry out her final journey. In Greenland, I scattered her ashes amongst crackling ice diamonds, on the towering peak of one of earth’s oldest stones and under the green glow of northern lights. She is now a part of the landscape she loved so much. I am deeply grateful for the team of talented artists and scholars and the Wanderbird captains and crew for helping me carry out her wishes and realize her dream’.

She is also an advocate of raising awareness about the effects of climate change. A percentage of her Greenland drawing sales go to 350.org, an organization looking to help solve the growing climate problem.