It is over a year now since I was down South. It has taken me this length of time to re orientate myself and make sense of the experience. As time moves on and I continue to explore the science and imagery which is my resource and way into exploring something deeper, those first hand experiences take on a different meaning within a wider context.
It is difficult to put this into words because the language is visual, but the echograms from under the ice have sparked all sorts of associations, since they are in effect a picture of the Earths heartbeat over 900,000 years, which is roughly the length of time humans have walked the Earth. So I have been working with these, relating them to human heartbeats (echocardiograms from the pilot who flew the radar flights). Also using them as a ground with which to compare the exploration of the Earths last physical frontier with the exploration in the mind of the origins of the universe, which is coming to some kind of conclusion now with the big experiment of the Theory of Everything at Cern in Switzerland.
I have tried to find ways of talking about the absolute nothingness of various experiences deep in Antarctica. In a sense this nothingness contains everything.
I have also been working with satellite and computer generated imagery of winds over Antarctica on particular days while I was there, relating these to the flight of an Albatross as it circumnavigates Antarctica over 18 months.
And I am exploring way of talking about life in the presence of death, through gene sequences stencilled in Antarctic soil, of proto-bacteria found in soil from the Ellsworth mountains. This is the most basic life form in the most lifeless place on the planet.
The work I am preparing for the show at Beaux Arts in Cork Street on 1st April, is in two parts:
1) work made on site - photographic imagery of landscape, ice, clouds through an igloo, and ice drawings with skidoo e.t.c.
2) work made subsequently with help from scientists at BAS, using Satellite and met office imagery, GPS tracking imagery,
Molecular science and echograms and echocardiograms. With all of these I have had to search for the most appropriate
means and material to make these ideas visible. Most have been computer generated and printed onto papers that can be
reworked by hand. As time has gone on, I have searched for the most simple way of showing complex ideas. this is work
which will continue over the coming years, beyond the first exhibition.
There are also 3 video installations in the making.
Most of the science now in Antarctica is directed at looking at what the effects of Climate Change might be, now and in the long term. Most scientists don't address this directly because they are looking at the minutiae. As an artist I have the luxury of looking at the bigger picture, exploring unusual connections. Climate Change is not written big in the Art, but is rather enfolded within its layers.
The images which follow are from my experience on the ice. Some of these will be in the show in April. All of it will have to be complete by the end of January, ready for the catalogue. As the works are photographed I will post more on this blog.
PS At present this blog is not working well with images. The colours are all wrong, so I will leave off posting images until it is fixed.
This is a blog of ongoing projects starting with: 1) Antarctica -Dec. 2006 - February 2007 2) Work made from the experience 2008 3) Nevada Feb. - Oct. 2008
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