In summer of 2016, Curtis sailed to the Ross Sea, Antarctica on the ship Spirit of Enderby. This area was the starting point for many early heroic expeditions and now is the site of scientific research bases belonging to New Zealand, South Korea, USA and Italy.
She felt vulnerable and insignificant by the awe inspiring scale and fearful beauty of the place. Changes in the weather are rapid. When the sun is high, the atmosphere is crystal clear, colours intense and everything becomes flattened as in a Japanese woodblock prints. But when the cloud races in, everything freezes, darkens and becomes threatening.
Looming over the Ross Sea is the active volcano Mt Erebus and it was incorporated into a number of paintings much as Japanese artists used Mt Fuji.