IMAGES of the Arctic and Antarctic have gone on display in an exhibition spanning 200 years of polar artwork.

Organisers hope the show will highlight the importance of these remote landscapes as the planet faces the challenges of climate change.

The exhibition, Among the Polar Ice, which is on show at the The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum, features two major series of artworks by Scottish artists Frances Walker and James Morrison.

It also highlights Dundee’s long history of Polar exploration, showing items selected from Dundee’s “nationally significant” fine art and whaling collection.

Sinclair Aitken, chairman of Leisure and Culture Dundee, said: “During this year, when issues of global warming have never seemed so urgent, these artworks remind us of the importance of these remote landscapes to our very fabric of life.”

Walker painted the six “icescapes” of the Antarctic Suite following a voyage to the South Pole in 2007.

Sailing and making shore visits over 18 days, she visited the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetlands, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands and painted the artworks when she returned to her Aberdeen studio.

Morrison’s paintings capture the glacial landscape of Otto Fiord, Ellesmere Island, which lies within the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

Living in a tented camp, in sight of reindeer, he worked outdoors enduring the weather and facing the danger posed by the occasional polar bear to produce the landscapes.

The exhibition also features works by William Burn Murdoch, who accompanied the explorer William Speirs Bruce on the Dundee Antarctic Whaling Expedition in 1892, as well as images from lantern slides, drawings and watercolour sketches.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Among the Polar Ice is a fascinating collection of images and paintings from some of the world’s most fragile environments.

“Culture has the power to increase awareness and understanding of major issues facing the world today, and none are greater than climate change.

“We all have a part to play in combating this global challenge and I hope this exhibition helps to inspire and mobilise change.”

Simon Cook, geoscientist at the University of Dundee, and Camilla Nichol, of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, have contributed to the interpretation of the images – providing scientific context for the artworks on display.

Cook said: “Something that’s very on trend at the moment in glacier science is to use archive photos, documents and even paintings to understand how landscapes and climate have evolved. Often, these are the only records we have of the recent past [last 100 years or so] before the dawn of satellite imagery.

“This can represent essential context for today’s climate situation.”

The free exhibition runs from this Saturday to Sunday March 8.