2021 / Fine Art
A substantial lead (large fracture) has opened in the Arctic iceshield near the North Pole, revealing the surface of the 4,000 meter deep Arctic Ocean. Leads naturally occur in the shifting Arctic ice, but their numbers have noticeably increased due to global warming. The image was shot in March 2020 from one of the expedition helicopters under challenging conditions (open slide door, -50 °C outside temperature) near the Polarstern, the German icebreaker that served as the logistical hub for MOSAiC, the most extensive scientific expedition to the Arctic in history.
Michael Gutsche is a German photographer who works with changing landscapes and global environmental issues. Gutsche’s work manifests in large-scale prints that have been featured in solo exhibitions at museums, galleries and institutions across Germany. In 2019, Gutsche was commissioned by the Alfred Wegener Institute from January to April 2020 as a photographer for MOSAiC, the largest scientific Arctic expedition in history. These images have been published in Focus, FAZ, Nature, and The Washington Post, among others.