Diving into Artic Waters: the Art of Zaria Forman

Travelling extensively to the northern waters of the globe as a child with her artist-photographer mother, Zaria Forman seems to have captured the very essence of water light and texture. Returning to Greenland in 2012, leading and funding her own expedition to carry on the project of her deceased mother, Zaria comes back with between 10 000 and 13 000 pictures of icebergs and ice fields, on her way to “chase the light”, from which she will make this breathtaking set of drawings.

o-GREENLAND-900 (2)

o-GREENLAND-900 (3)

o-GREENLAND-900 (4)

o-GREENLAND-900 (5)

o-GREENLAND-900 (6)

o-GREENLAND-900 (7)


large (1)


The artist states, on her website:

“In August 2012, I led an Arctic expedition up the NW coast of Greenland. Called “Chasing the Light”, it was the second expedition the mission of which was to create art inspired by this dramatic geography. The first, in 1869, was led by the American painter William Bradford. My mother, Rena Bass Forman, had conceived the idea for the voyage, but 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. These drawings were inspired by this trip. Documenting climate change, the work addresses the concept of saying goodbye on scales both global and personal. In Greenland, I scattered my mother’s ashes amidst the melting ice. I am deeply grateful for the team of talented artists and scholars and the Wanderbird captains and crew for helping me carry out my mother’s wishes and realize her dream”



zaria-forman copy

Digging a little deeper in the fascinating story of this mother-daughter artistic relationship, I found some paintings of Greenland landscapes, by Rena Bass Forman, Zaria Forman’s mother, on the website of Bonni Benruby art gallery: