- 15 Apr 21
The four new stamps are brought to life in Echotal musician David Rooney's latest animated video, which is well worth a look...
An Post is celebrating Irish Antarctic Explorers by issuing four 'Ice Men' stamps designed by illustrator David Rooney, accompanied by a powerful animated video.
Eight Irish men played a significant role in the epic Antarctic expeditions of the 1800s and early 1900s.
At the heart of the pioneering expeditions to Antarctica were County Kildare-born Ernest Shackleton and Kerryman Tom Crean. Two of the better known explorers; their pair have achieved worldwide recognition for their bravery and perseverance.
The other six men featured on the stamps - five from Cork - are perhaps less well known but no less important in the contributions they made to Antarctic exploration.
They include Edward Bransfield from Ballincurra, Co Cork; Patrick Keohane from Courtmacsherry; Bandon's Robert Forde; brothers Mortimer and Tim McCarthy from Kinsale and Francis Crozier from Banbridge, Co Down.
The four stamps, two for national postage and two for international, and a First Day Cover envelope are available at selected post offices and An Post's website.
Leading Irish Illustrator David Rooney explained how he wanted the stamps to shine a light on the impact Irish men had on Antarctic exploration:
“Like most people I was aware of the Shackleton and Crean expeditions, it was fascinating to delve into the adventures of a figure like Francis Crozier, who set out in 1839 as commander of HMS Terror on the Ross expedition. Crozier, his ship and all of his crew were subsequently lost, along with Sir John Franklin, on their ill-fated search for the North West Passage in the Arctic just a few years later.”
Recent television series The Terror was an influence for Rooney, along with Michael Palin’s book Erebus, The Story of a Ship - recommended by Hot Press' Pat Carty.
“Having already created the stamps a few months ago, the print process takes some time, I suggested to An Post that a short animated video bringing the stamps to life could be good as as a promotional tool," Rooney said of the striking black-and-white illustrated visuals.
"Teaming up with animator Kat Harina, we set to work," Rooney added.
"I had asked musician and now sound designer Gavin McCabe to get involved and, knowing Gavin’s powerful voice from The Cujo Family, I suggested a sea shanty might work. I wrote it that night based on a traditional sea shanty air I picked up. Then it was down the road to Torsten Kinsella’s studio."
"Though God Is An Astronaut are not exactly known for sea shanties, he got a decent take out of me and then Gavin added his magic to it from where he’s now based in Scotland. We both have been talking about recording more together. Salty aired frozen soundscapes and lost sailor's tales...who knows what we've started?”
Check out the illustrated video displaying the Irish explorers below: