Artist HULA Races Against the Clock to Finish Oversized Ice Mural in the Arctic
Brave the elements with HULA on his mission of raising awareness on Inuit life
This is a sponsored post by The North Face.
As a testament to their dedication for dreaming big and exploring new lands, The North Face has been creating videos around those who share that passion. After their first two videos (Little Expeditions & Fledglings), they traveled to the arctic waters of Baffin Island, Nunavut, in northern Canada for Hawaiian muralist and artist Sean Yoro a.k.a. HULA to paint one of his most ambitious projects yet. And to help document the whole adventure, climber and filmmaker Renan Ozturk (Outside Magazine and National Geographic) came along for the icy ride.
As a self-taught artist, HULA has been using empty spaces like shipwrecks, abandoned docks, and forgotten walls to paint welcoming female figures while standing on his paddleboard. And don’t worry—he uses environmentally friendly vegetable oil paints, which are entirely removed as soon as the piece is complete. The North Face wanted to tap into HULA’s unique style of combining Mother Nature with the maternal nature of women by taking him to the Arctic to paint the image of a local Inuit woman, Jesse Mike, on a constantly shifting and melting iceberg. As a result of the high risk, high reward assignment, Renan filmed the race against real time for HULA to complete the mural on the moving canvas.
As Jesse explains in the video, while most documentaries are focused on saving polar bears in colder climates, there is a shockingly low amount of attention being paid to the indigenous people. One of the issues they face is mental illness, which can lead to drug abuse and suicide. She also wants to see reform of the school and justice systems, as well as their cultural standards for healthy living. To symbolically spotlight the human condition in Nunavut, HULA, Renan, and their crew hunted for the right piece of ice for several hours. Although the unfinished mural couldn’t be salvaged, it spoke to an important saying in Inuktitut that means “There’s nothing you can do about it.”
Watch the full video above.