Zaria Forman let the beauty and form of icebergs in Ilulissat inspire her artwork, just as they did her late mother. After scattering her mother’s ashes in Disko Bay, one of Zaria’s drawings now returns to Greenland forever.

A print of one of her breathtakingly dramatic icebergs will be permanently exhibited at Ilulissat.

A dedicated duo

Traveling to and from the world round with a small camera in one pocket and a sketchbook under the arm. Tiny yet careful hands helped to change lenses and to set compositions for what would later turn into museum-exhibited photographs.

These were Zaria Forman’s early years as a young study aside fellow Arctic artist and beloved mother, Rena Bass Forman. A childhood that no doubt shaped the vision and concern Zaria has for the world today, and through these, her artwork.

Reinventing an expedition

‘Chasing the Light’ was inspired by an 1869 art expedition in search of stunning and dramatic geography. It found new life in the elder Forman’s passion for photography and desire to document climate changes in the Greenland landscape.

Sadly, she did not live to fulfill the expedition, and so it became reinvented yet again. This time by the grieving yet determined hands of Zaria Forman in the summer of 2012.

Drawing Greenland icebergs, Zaria considers ’Chasing the Light’ to be a study in saying goodbye - both on an environmental level and on a personal one. There is great symbolism in scattering her mother’s ashes amongst the icebergs in Disko Bay, both melting slowly and simultaneously into the deep water beneath.

About Ilulissat

  • Ilulissat lies 296 km north of the Arctic Circle on the infamous Disko Bay.
  • Ilulissat means ‘icebergs’ in Greenlandic, as the town is flanked by one of the largest iceberg concentrations in the country - Ilulissat Icefjord.   
  • In January, when the sun returns after about 6 weeks of polar night, all the locals stand at the top of the hill to bid it welcome back.
  • Two airlines make seasonal international flights to Ilulissat from Iceland. Air Greenland flies from Keflavik and Air Iceland flies from Reykjavík.
  • There are also domestic connections year round via Air Greenland.

Homecoming

Now, Zaria adds one more layer to solidifying the bond between her artwork and her mother, between the expedition and Greenland.

A print of one of her breathtakingly dramatic icebergs will be permanently exhibited at Ilulissat International Airport, giving Zaria a metaphorical chance to reunite with her mother and with Greenland, and to bring everything full circle.