British artist Derek Eland spent April-May 2016 at Everest Base Camp, the first artist to spend the entire climbing season working there. During his residency he created a confessional style Diary Room at Base Camp and asked everyone there to write down what Everest meant to them and why they were there. Hundreds of handwritten stories were collected from climbers, Sherpas, trekkers, Icefall Doctors, cooks, porters and medical teams. They were written in 12 different languages by people from 25 countries. These stories are moving, heart-breaking and emotional and provide some answers to the question: what’s it like to ‘be human’ at Everest Base Camp. Many of those who took part in the project went on to be injured. Some were killed.
An exhibition of the handwritten stories from Everest Base Camp, together with the artist’s photographs and film pieces opens in the Gallery at Rheged, in the UK, from Saturday 29 April to Sunday 2 July ahead of a world tour of the complete exhibition to Nepal, India, China and beyond.
The artist’s Everest Base Camp residency was kindly supported by: The British Council, Rheged, The Cumberland Pencil Company, GF Smith, Writing Matters, Rab, Julbo, Petzl, Ortlieb, La Sportiva, Exped, Lyon Equipment, Kathmandu Contemporary Arts Centre, No Routes Found, The We Are One Foundation, Hayward Tod, Cartmell Shepherd, Satori Expeditions, Bluesheep Adventures and the University of Cumbria.