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Bryndis Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson

Patricia Ellis, Dr Steven Baker, Michelle Henning and Dr Garry Marvin

192 pages
200 b/w and colour ills
25.0 x 21.0 cm
10.0 x 8.0 in
ISBN10: 1 904772 39 0
ISBN13: 978 1 904772 39 2
Nanoq in Foto8 and The Arctic Book Review!

Click here to read a review of Nanoq on the Foto8 website.

Click here to read another review on the Arctic Book Review website.

Praise for nanoq

"nanoq: flat out and bluesome is a fascinating book."
The Times

Snæbjörnsdóttir and Wilson capture something unbearably poignant about these dead animals."
The Daily Telegraph

"nanoq: flat out and bluesome is a startling read.”
Time Out

Nanoq: flat out and bluesome
A Cultural Life of Polar Bears

Nanoq: flat out and bluesome is the story of polar bears, the largest land predators on earth, and their journey from the arctic wilderness to the museums and stately homes of the UK.

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Most of the dead (and sometimes living) polar bears arrived on British shores in Victorian times. They were imported speculatively into the country by arctic entrepreneurs, brought in on whaling ships, or carried back triumphantly as souvenirs of aristocratic adventures. Stuffed and posed, the bears were placed in cases or on plinths and they have remained in these poses ever since, commanding pride of place in provincial museums, or inertly gathering dust in mansions and country houses.

Between 2002 and 2004 the artists Bryndis Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson undertook a survey of all the taxidermied polar bears in the UK. Nanoq: flat out and bluesome documents the histories of each of these bears, the legacies of the hunters who shot them and the skills and expertise of the taxidermists who stuffed them.

Nanoq: flatout and bluesome includes unpublished archival photographs of hunting in the arctic at the turn of the century along with photographs by the artists of the bears in their current locations. The book also features a short story by art critic Patricia Ellis and essays by leading academics and curators, Michelle Henning, Garry Marvin and Steven Baker, who discuss taxidermy and photography, trophy hunting and the increasingly frequent use of stuffed animals in contemporary art.

A unique and haunting book that charts the uneasy relationship between the wild and its representation in our museums, galleries and media, Nanoq: flatout and bluesome also highlights the current plight of polar bears who are facing extinction because of the destruction of their habitat.