The South Pole on My Antarctica (shown here while still WIP) is marked with a small pearly button
"So at last we reached our destination and planted our flag on the geographical South Pole, King Haakon VII's plateau. Thank God! This took place at 3pm. Weather was the best when we set out this morning but at 10am, it clouded overand obscured the entire sun. Fresh breeze from the SE." Roald Amundsen
Today is the centenary of Amundsen's historic achievement, being the first person to visit the South Pole, along with his four companions and 18 dogs. Amundsen is one of my heroes (along with Captain Scott who arrived a month or so later- I don't think we have to choose one or the other to admire).
Roald Amundsen is an inspiring example of single-minded focus on a lifelong dream. He did years of intelligent preparation including learning from the Innuit in the Arctic as well as other polar explorers and he employed the very latest technology available. His success is remarkable not only for reaching the Pole first, but for getting his entire party back alive, a feat that Scott tragically failed.
During the months I spent hand embroidering the continent of Antarctica I read and reread a lot of Antarctic literature and learned much about Amundsen. Pulling my needle in and out across the contour lines of the Axel Heilberg Glacier and across the polar plateau was a way of honouring this extraordinary man and the journey he started out on with seven other men and 86 dogs. Most of the dogs were killed for food along the way, and I wrote a poem for the dogs, because somehow Amundsen (like Scott) has proved too great a subject for me to write about,