2018 - Ongoing
Eighty-three years after Amelia Earhart’s disappearance, only theories remain, yet her legend survives in the many individuals still searching for evidence of what happened to her on that fateful day in 1937.
The work presented here is from the first phase of the Earhart project—a five-week expedition to the outer-reaches of the Northern Mariana and Marshall Islands, photographing the seascapes and landscapes specific to the “Japanese Capture” theory of Earhart's disappearance. It is a theory involving the forced landing of Earhart in fortified Japanese territory followed by her capture, imprisonment, and possible execution at the hands of their Imperial Navy.
This expedition is the culmination of over a year’s worth of research, fundraising, and planning. While this may only be the first stage—the idea is to present each stage as its own entity so as to give weight to each theory of Earhart’s demise.
The complete breadth of this project will involve many years and travel to multiple parts of the Central and South Pacific, photographing related land and sea of these remote regions. The Phoenix Islands, as an example, hold multiple theories to Earhart’s disappearance—including both the “Nikumaroro Theory,” and the “Orona Theory” where she is believed to have succumbed to the elements after landing on one of these deserted islands. The project will also include archival ephemera related to the planning and preparation of the flight, the flight itself, as well as the search following her disappearance. Scientific documents supporting the different theories will also be included, as well as other mixed-media inspired by some of these elements. The merging of multiple mediums in the work aligns it to the "Framing Vision" theme for CPF.
In photographing these remote regions, along with the incorporation of these added historical ephemera, Arnold will give visual expression to each of the theories and to tell the story surrounding Earhart’s disappearance.