A sledge made from broken picture frames. A video projected into a freezer compartment. This is not how we normally picture the Antarctic, claimed as it is by adventurers, geographers and environmental surveyists.

If you thought the most southerly place on earth was just a penguin-infested load of cold, blue nothing, then Violet McLean is hoping that after seeing the latest exhibition at the Arts University Bournemouth’s Gallery, you may think again.

Landscapes of Exploration contains art from the British Antarctic Survey’s Artists and Writers Programme over a ten-year period from 2001-2009. It’s been curated by Professor Liz Wells who, says Violet, is: “The celebrity of the written word in the photography world.”

“If there’s any book you pick up as a photographer, theory or history, she’s either the editor or she’s written it.”

The AUB Gallery has worked with Prof Wells before and knew they wanted to have this exhibition.

“We’ve got paintings, drawings, other objects created as part of this project,” she says.

“I think that sometimes when we look at the Antarctic we just see it as geographical, or something documented for environmental purposes. Seeing it through the eyes of the artists makes it that more interesting. It’s a forbidding place, you have the ice stations but that’s the only sort of access, only certain people have access.”

She believes the artists’ work has made the Antarctic ‘more accessible’.

“It gives us a chance to consider how beautiful and engaging the landscape is,” she says. “I think it’s bringing an unknown territory into the public domain in art form, not as a geographical interpretation.”

Violet hopes to spend 2015 ensuring more people in Dorset know her gallery exists.

“I think we’re actually a bit of a best-kept secret,” she says. “We are an important gallery for this area but people don’t always know we’re here or that you don’t have to be part of the university to visit.”

As well as artwork the gallery has a programme of public events, such as the creative writing workshop running on Thursday February 19. From 5.30pm-7.30pm Dr James Cole, AUB’s creative writer in residence will discuss the Landscapes of Exploration exhibition and then invite participants to engage with the exhibition through creative writing and expression.

  • aub.ac.uk/campus/thegallery