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Rose’s journey from penguins to paintings2 min read

Dec 18, 2023 2 min

Rose’s journey from penguins to paintings2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Rose Lasham from Onehunga close to a large breeding colony of 150,000 king penguins in Antarctica (photo supplied)

Young explorer, Rose Lasham (21) has returned home to the summer’s embrace after an extraordinary journey to icy Antarctica.

Describing the glacial wonderland as “stepping into a David Attenborough documentary”, Rose had the time of her life, and is very grateful to have been one of 22 New Zealanders selected for the Antarctic Heritage Trust’s Inspiring Explorers Expedition to South Georgia Island, supported by MetService and the Royal Society.

Rose and the team left Auckland for Chile. After leaving Chile, the group spent three days sailing 1,525km onboard Antarctica21’s Magellan Explorer to South Georgia Island.

“As we approached the island, we saw a massive iceberg that left me feeling very small,” says Rose. “It was very foggy, but we heard the land before we saw it.”

The king penguins’ loud cries marked the group’s approach to land, and once the fog lifted, they saw a colossal colony of about 25,000 breeding penguins waiting for them. “Groups of penguins even swam out to the boat,” says Rose. “It was incredible.”

The dramatic landscape was also home to burping elephant seals, some of whom gave birth, which Rose witnessed. “We even saw how the skuas and petrels ate the after-births.”

While exploring Drygalski Fjord, Rose had the opportunity to touch a small iceberg and marveled at the amount of snow. “I’ve seen snow once in my life before, so it was incredible to see so much of it.”

Rose embarked on Zodiac boat cruises to king penguin rookeries, seal-covered beaches, and historic sites, including Sir Ernest Shackleton’s final resting place.

What’s next for the Bachelor of Fine Arts student? Rose and her fellow explorers are channeling their experiences into an art exhibition, which is set to tour Auckland, Christchurch, and Queenstown from mid-next year to the end of 2024. The exhibition will include ceramics, microscopic and landscape photography, and paintings, highlighting themes of Antarctic exploration bridging the past and the present, climate change, icebergs, and the island’s biodiversity.

This exhibition is a celebration of their awe-inspiring journey with the hope of igniting wonder and curiosity in others, encouraging them to embark on their explorations and forge meaningful connections with the world around them. Rose is eager to start creating her art and sharing her newfound passion with.