by René Koster on March 30, 2019
In December of 2018 Captain Louis Rudd became one of only two people in history to complete a solo crossing of Antarctica, unsupported and unassisted. He traveled for 56 days over a distance of 1,500km, from Union Glacier to the Ross Ice Shelf via the South Pole.
During his early military career Rudd spent time amongst the ancient, glacier-carved landscapes of Norway’s interior. It was here that he discovered his love for cold environments and peaceful isolation. He also learnt to trek long distances carrying heavy weights – an early introduction to the harsh realities of a polar journey.
In 2011 Lou led a team through the Scott/Amundsen Centenary Race, organised by Henry Worsley. A hundred years earlier, in 1911, Captain Scott was beaten to the South Pole by the Norwegian, Roald Amundsen.
At the end of 2016, Lou also launched the SPEAR17 expedition and led a 6-man British Army team of Reservists on a 1,770-mile traverse of Antarctica. It was a group of polar novices, some of whom had never skied before. Their route, from Hercules Inlet to the Ross Ice Shelf, was very similar to that of the Spirit of Endurance. From here on we’ll be following Lou’s journey closely, giving you regular updates from the world of vast ice fields, frozen volcanoes and mile-deep crevasses.
Images from the Expedition
- All images above ©2019 René Koster. All rights reserved. -
Even before my time at the Art Academy I already had a keen interest in art and history; this often shows in my work. Being inspired by books and movies as well, often a sense can linger on to find its way into my work at some time.
After reading “1812”, that tells the tragic story about Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, I set out to Waterloo to portray re-enactors. Devoting their time to carefully reconstructing events and periods these men and women form a new community, an alliance where nationality and age are irrelevant. Rather than choosing a journalistic approach, I leaned heavily on the 18th-century art of painting. Isolating my subjects, carefully avoiding elements that could be linked to the present times; I wanted to give this series a sense of drama.
There is always a concept of the narrative before I start taking photographs. For every journey, I prepare by collecting information about the area and its history. This enables me to form an idea about the story I want to tell through my work. Then, my focus shifts towards finding the right pictures that fit into the story.