Travel to remote locations and the taking of thousands of photographs is integral to her practice—both her work, and her birthright. Her mother, Rena Bass Forman, was an accomplished fine art photographer known for large-format, sepia-toned images of natural and vastly different landscapes, from Sri Lanka and Newfoundland, Labrador to the Pacific Northwest and Italy.
Zaria traveled aboard National Geographic Explorer to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands as artist-in-residence in 2015 and 2018, getting an intimate, sea-level perspective on the ice. In the fall of 2017, she got her first aerial views of the Antarctic ice when she was invited to fly with NASA scientists working on Operation Icebridge, an aerial survey project.
As Zaria’s perspective shifts, she shifts the consciousness of all who see her work. And they are many: her 2016 TED Talk about her practice and the environment has 1.6 million views; her work is exhibited widely across the United States and overseas, and featured in many publications; and most recently she has been bringing her message directly to guests aboard our two new polar expedition ships, National Geographic Endurance and National Geographic Resolution. As the curator of two ground-breaking exhibits, which have a permanant place aboard these vessels, Zaria has assembled an incredible roster of artists. Their thought-provoking works are displayed throughout the ships and provide a richer understanding of the polar geographies we explore.
We celebrate Zaria’s dedication and extraordinary ability to manifest the evanescent—and to engage us in loving, and protecting, the beautiful landscapes we stand to lose.