Gallery Events

“Working in Antartica” presented by Paul Alfillé

Please join us for a special presentation by Dr. Paul H. Alfille: “Working in Antarctica.”  The gallery will be open for the event on Sunday, June 23 from 3-5 pm and refreshments will be served.  (RSVP Info Below)

an Antarctic Weddell Seal, photo by Paul Alfille
an Antarctic Weddell Seal, photo by Paul Alfille

While the Antarctic has become a sought- after destination for visitors in quest of a new and uncommon experience, the travelers on cruises only get to visit the most accessible edge of the continent, at the tip of the Antarctic peninsula, and that for a relatively short time.

Working at one of the Antarctic research bases, however, is a much different experience. Paul Alfille, now Division Chief of Thoracic, Vascular and Neuro Anesthesia at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School , was a medical student when he was tapped to be part of a medical research expedition at McMurdo Bay, the U.S. Antarctic base, situated relatively close to the South Pole.

His stunning photographs, which he will present along with stories of day-to-day life on the base, depict his experiences and that of the team headed by Prof. W. Zapol, a former speaker to The Pearl Society.  The assignment was to research Weddell seals, huge mammals who can dive and stay underwater for more than an hour.  Because of this research, newborn “blue” babies in hospitals everywhere can now be helped.  “But first, you have to catch the seal. . . ”  The photos tell the tale, and many others.

Paul Alfillé approaches a Weddell Seal
Paul Alfillé approaches a Weddell Seal

After Paul Alfille, my son, spent that austral summer in Antarctica, his pictures revealed to me a universe of beauty and tragedy. The thought has been with me since, and has inspired the special jewelry series: Voyage to Antarctica.

Come meet Paul (who, incidentally, is also the developer of the first version of Freecell, the well- known online time stealer), but don’t ask him to show you his scar from the seal bite!




Design Series, Eve's Insight, Gallery Events

Eve discusses her inspiration for “Voyage to Antarctica”

In anticipation of the gallery’s upcoming exhibit opening party, artist and custom jewelry designer
Eve J. Alfillé speaks to her inspirations for her new design series “Voyage to Antarctica.”  RSVP Online for this special gallery event on May 4, 2013

an Antarctic Weddell Seal, photo by Paul Alfille
an Antarctic Weddell Seal, photo by Paul Alfille. Click to enlarge photo.

Q.  This is a very special Series to you. What was the inspiration for the next Series, “Voyage to Antarctica”?

Eve: Paul Alfille, my son, was in medical school when he became involved in a research project with Weddell seals. There are only 4 land and air animals that live in the Antarctic, one being the Weddell Seal. They are fascinating animals as they can dive for up to one hour, a unique feature. The research team went to Antarctica to discover what enabled seals to remain submerged, in the hope to help newborn babies.

During his month long trip to the Antarctica, he spent time taking photos. As we gathered as a family to view the pictures, it was interesting as the interpretations were divided. Some found the pictures somewhat uninteresting as they appeared to be just white on white. But when I saw those photos, I see things on many different levels.

Antarctica Earth and Sky
Antarctic earth and sky, separated only by sunlight.

For the past 20 years, the pictures have been in the back of my mind until I saw a way of translating the experience. And when I saw them again recently, I wondered how anyone could have ever found them bland: they are full of searing drama!

Eve: Yes, absolutely. Paul has agreed to share his adventures to Antarctica in a special presentation in June. We’ll share more details as soon as possible. Keep Sunday, June 23 open!

As we take a look at the pictures, there’s a sense of simplicity.

Eve: Yes, there is a simplicity in the colors, but that is what draws attention to the complex textures in the whites and blues, and besides, the colors change with the light.

"McMurdo" pendant
“McMurdo” pendant, blue topaz, sterling silver, 14 karat gold and 14 karat white gold pendant

Q. Explain how you want to express Antarctica to your collectors and guests?

Eve: I know that I cannot bring ice or water from Antarctica. For this Series, I wanted to give guests the sense of being in this wondrous place where very few humans visit. As each creation is revealed, it captures a moment of time in Antarctica and as an entire Series, it encapsulates the experience.   For example, the “McMurdo” pendant shown at right, features blue topaz, sterling silver, 14 karat gold and 14 karat white gold pendant.  Click the photo to enlarge the view.