Sally Linder

Sally Linder  


Arctic 2010-2016




Bear Love IX

To Return to 'Approaching a Threshold' Series Click on Image


Many of the legends of the polar north, as told by the Inuit elders, speak of the spirits of the great white bear and man as being interchangeable.  For in the telling, when the polar bears enter their dens they shed their hides and become men, and only upon returning to the frigid outdoors do they don their furs once again.

Approaching a Threshold Series Artist Statement

“The polar bear may be just the canary in the coal mine... If we can save the polar bears, we will ultimately save ourselves.”

Theodore Roosevelt IV


The Arctic spreads out from the top of Earth, a grand checkered tablecloth upon which the cosmos feasts.  It is a landscape shockingly pristine; its noble inhabitants of land, ice and sea, diplomats of a place worth saving. Henry D. Thoreau got it right when he wrote: “ in wildness is the preservation of the world.”

Humankind straddles a threshold. The Arctic is rapidly unraveling: white ice to black water. As oil, gas, and coal extraction and exploration mounts a feeding frenzy, I wonder if in my lifetime I will witness the extinction of Arctic life incarnate, the polar bear. I spend my days painting the bears, humbly joining my soul with theirs, in belief of the Inuit legend of interspecies soul exchange.

These paintings arise from sketches done over the last six years in the high Arctic of Svalbard, Greenland, Alaska and Nunavut.


"Life wants to live. Life so completely wants to live... and to the degree that we consider ourselves among and allied with the living, our task is clear: to help life live."

Derrick Jensen