Posts Tagged "art"

Artist Reawakens Glacial Past In Central Park

Posted by on Jun 4, 2015 in Adaptation, All Posts, Art/Culture, Featured Posts, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Artist Reawakens Glacial Past In Central Park

Spread the News:ShareIn the northeast corner of Central Park by the Harlem Meer, a large billboard hints at Manhattan’s icy past. The piece, commissioned as part of the Drifting in Daylight art exhibition celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Central Park Conservancy, was designed by Karyn Olivier. Olivier chose to depict a glacier that covered Manhattan 20,000 years ago. The glacier shaped many parts of the island in ways that are both familiar and taken for granted by New Yorkers. Through her piece she also leaves a trace of Seneca Village, a mostly forgotten African American settlement from the 1800’s. Olivier, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago, is an artist and associate professor of sculpture at Tyler School of Art. She spoke to GlacierHub about her piece, titled “Here and Now/Glacier, Shard, Rock.” GH: Why did you choose to depict the glacier that used to cover New York? KO: The task to create an artwork for a place like Central Park, a place already filled with so much beauty, was daunting—what can compete with such an amazing landscape? So I decided to focus on the site of Central Park and reveal what existed at that location—perhaps allowing for a reflection on what stands there today. I was reading about the Wisconsin Glacier that travelled through what is now New York City, 20,000 years ago. It created valleys, moved boulders, formed rock outcroppings, carried alluvial debris that was eternally stranded in new locations when the ice sheet melted. I was interested in this physical evidence, this geological diaspora, that can be found throughout Central Park—it’s both everywhere, in plain sight, but also hidden by our lack of knowledge and awareness. I was also interested in the more recent history of the site—Seneca Village—and the fact that there is little evidence left of this once vibrant community. This settlement of mostly freed African American residents in the 1800’s was displaced, scattered wholesale throughout the city, with few traces of their tenancy left in the bucolic park. The billboard depicts an image of a glacier, but also a pottery shard that was found on the site of the village. I saw a literal and metaphoric connection between the subtle residual artifacts of both the glacier and village.   GH: What meaning do glaciers hold for you? KO: One of the most awe-inspiring experiences I’ve had was coming upon a glacier while visiting Iceland 14 years ago. It took my breath away—its vastness, its enormity, its visual reminder of the immensity of time and a vanished epoch that it holds and bears witness to. GH: Can you tell us a bit about your choice of medium for this piece? KO: I decided to use a lenticular photographic process to create the billboard display. In addition to featuring an image of a glacier and an artifact found from Seneca Village, I embedded a photograph of the landscape that currently exists directly behind the billboard structure. Depending on the viewer’s vantage point, multiple iterations of the three images can be seen. At moments each image is distinct; at other times they reveal themselves as fragments; at varying distances the three images overlap and are compressed—in a sense, conflating thousands of years of time in a single image. When a viewer moves from one end of the billboard to the other, the glacier will seem to move and morph into another time period—transformed as if the park goer on some level is controlling time or her understanding of it. The glacier mutates into a shard from a ceramic vessel—a domestic object made from clay dug from the same earth...

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Artist Emma Stibbon Talks Glaciers and ‘Bearing Witness’

Posted by on May 21, 2015 in All Posts, Art/Culture, Featured Posts, Images | 0 comments

Artist Emma Stibbon Talks Glaciers and ‘Bearing Witness’

Spread the News:ShareFor award winning artist Emma Stibbon, connecting with the landscapes she draws is a crucial part of her artistic process. Her travels have taken her to both poles and in between, where she has witnessed the impacts human activity has in some of the most isolated parts of the world. Stibbon, who is Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at the University of Brighton, creates large, generally monochromatic works that evoke expansive and lonely landscapes. She agreed to do an interview with GlacierHub to discuss glaciers, her role as a witness of human imprints on the world, and the importance of capturing the ephemeral nature of the world’s icy landscapes.   GH: What drew you to glaciers and ice bergs – specifically in the Antarctic Peninsula – in the first place? ES: I have long been interested in the effects of snow and ice on a landscape. My first trip to Antarctica in 2005 was extraordinary: watching the full cycle of ice moving and calving into bergs right in front of me; there is something mysterious about such a large gleaming mass on the move. I am interested in glaciers both as dynamic features and as places of psychological imagining, and their evident retreat in the Peninsula area are of urgent environmental concern. I’ve been committed to it as a project ever since with projects in the Alps, Iceland, the High Arctic and Antarctica.   GH: Why do you feel it is important to depict them? ES: Ice sheets and glaciers face a precarious future and their evident retreat in the Polar Regions is of environmental concern. One of the reasons I was provoked to visit the Antarctic Peninsula was reading about recent scientific assessments that show increasing instability in the Polar ice sheets confirming that the vulnerability of the Polar Regions will have profound effects upon our global environment. I see my work fitting within a North European Romantic tradition of the Sublime. In a contemporary context this is both a landscape under threat but also a dynamic powerful force that puts a perspective on our own existence and other species.   GH: What difference does it make for an artist actually to visit the ice, rather than to draw from photographs? ES: Being ‘in the field’ allows me a sense of bearing witness to something, I require that physical experience of place in order to make my studio based work. Once on location I usually gather information, either through drawing from observation or the camera. I believe that a human response to place is still meaningful, that the tactile quality of drawing connects with people on an emotional, visceral level. GH: Why do you select particular media (drawing and prints rather than oils or watercolors)? ES: The drawing process is fundamental to my work. I struggle to establish a correspondence between the drawing media and the subject and to equate an experience of place with a drawn mark. I often use delicate drawing media; watercolour, graphite, carbon and aluminium powder to try to both render an image and use the media as metaphor for the subject. The scale of the work is important, I want to create immersive drawings that communicate something of the sensory qualities of the place – to connect viewers with the Polar environment. For me the act of drawing has almost magical qualities, allowing me to connect the physical world with memory.   GH: Does your art emphasize the ice itself or the broader environment? ES: A bit of both. I have a formal interest in the complex, physical shapes of the...

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Four Centuries of Glacier Art

Posted by on Feb 24, 2015 in All Posts, Art/Culture, Featured Posts, Images, News | 0 comments

Four Centuries of Glacier Art

Spread the News:Share  Now on view at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario, the exhibition “Vanishing Ice: Alpine and Polar Landscapes in Art, 1775-2012” explores the aesthetic and cultural significance of glaciers for Western art over the past 400 years. The exhibit aims to inspire audiences to take action to protect the world’s glaciers as global warming takes its toll on these magnificent landscapes and icy frontiers. “Vanishing Ice is both a beautiful glimpse of some of the most remote and fragile ecosystems, and a call to action on what many people hold to be the defining issue of this generation,” said Victoria Dickenson, executive director and CEO of the McMichael gallery, in a news release. The traveling exhibition is comprised of more than 70 works by 50 artists from 12 different countries, including paintings, rare expedition journals, photographs, videos, and installations. The artists presenting include Bisson Frères, Rockwell Kent, Thomas Hart Benton, and Alexis Rockman. Despite diverse themes and interpretations, almost all the artists were, in some way, stimulated by an effort to eulogize the beauty of ice. “I was looking for works that would inspire people today to feel the same attraction that drew artists to these regions over the centuries. Seeing these works, people will hopefully experience this connection and be moved in some way to make a difference,” said Dr. Barbara Matilsky, the show’s curator, in an interview with National Gallery of Canada Magazine. The traveling exhibit’s first stop was the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Washington in 2013. After Bellingham it traveled to the El Paso Museum in Texas, and then on to the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta. Kleinburg is the final stop. Resurrection Bay, Alaska, c. 1939 © Rockwell Kent Adelies, 2008 © Alexis Rockman Isolation Peak, Rocky Mountains, 1930 © Lawren Harris Trail Riders, 1964–65 © Thomas Hart Benton Arranged both geographically and chronologically, the pieces in the show vividly demonstrate how rapidly alpine and polar landscapes have changed over time. The photograph Noctilucent Clouds over Mount Baker, Washington (July 30,1975) by Eliot Porter (1901-1990) captures Coleman Glacier crowned by a rare kind of twilight cloud found in Polar Regions and composed of crystals of water ice. (See a time lapse of noctilucent clouds here.) It was taken during Porter’s journey to Pacific Northwest. Along with photographs by Henry C. Engberg (1865-1942) and Brett Baunton (1959-), this work documents the dramatic retreat of the Coleman Glacier since the beginning of the century. © Brett Baunton © Brett Baunton © Brett Baunton © Brett Baunton © Brett Baunton   Please click here for more information on Vanishing Ice at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. Spread the...

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Round-Up: Melt Music, An Artist’s View, and Eruptions

Posted by on Feb 23, 2015 in All Posts, Art/Culture, Featured Posts, News, Roundup | 0 comments

Round-Up: Melt Music, An Artist’s View, and Eruptions

Spread the News:Share Salvatore Vitale’s Glacier Art  “This is the beginning of a project that aims to explore the powerful nature of a living creature in constant evolution. I want to show how such a powerful creature can be so fragile. In those pictures you can see their magnificence, but at the same time all their fragility.” See the images at Salvatore Vitale’s website   Glacial Melt Sounds Pave the Way for New Research “Researchers in Poland and the UK used underwater microphones to record the sound of ice calving away from a glacier in Norway.” Have a listen with BBC News   Study Finds Increased Volcanic Activity Due to Changes in Glaciers   “Melting ice is causing the land to rise up in Iceland – and perhaps elsewhere. The result, judging by new findings on the floor of the Southern Ocean, could be a dramatic surge in volcanic eruptions.” Read more at New Scientist   Spread the...

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James Balog: Breathing Life Into Ice

Posted by on Jan 21, 2015 in All Posts, Art/Culture, Featured Posts, Uncategorized | 0 comments

James Balog: Breathing Life Into Ice

Spread the News:ShareFor more than 30 years, James Balog, an American photographer, has devoted himself to merging insights from art and science to create innovative and vivid interpretations of our changing world. His photographic interests are diverse, including endangered animals, North America’s old-growth forests, and polar ice. In 2007, Balog initiated a long-term photography project, called the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), which offers visual evidence of the Earth’s changing ecosystems. On the one hand, EIS is a substantial portfolio that documents the beauty and architecture of ice. On the other hand, it is time-lapse proof of extreme ice loss. So far, 41 solar-powered cameras have been deployed at 23 glaciers in Antarctica, Greenland, Iceland, Canada, Austria, Alaska, and the Rocky Mountains of the U.S. The glaciers are recorded every 30 minutes, year round, during daylight. The time-lapse images are then edited into videos that unveil an incremental record of climate change. National Geographic magazine showcased the Extreme Ice Survey project in June 2007 and June 2010. The project is also featured in the renowned documentary, Chasing Ice, which won an award for Excellence in Cinematography at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, as well as the 2014 News and Documentary Emmy award for Outstanding Nature Programming. The film has screened in more than 172 countries and on all 7 continents. As a kind of companion piece to his documentary project, Balog published the book, ICE: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers, in 2012. A review from Book News says, “Photographs…strike the eye with such power, and appeal with such subtlety, that viewers could scarcely imagine such epic materials and landscapes could disappear. General readers, artists, nature or geology fans, people who live or play in winter landscapes, and photographers, regardless of scientific or political bent, will all value this book.” Balog is also the founder of the Earth Vision Institute (EVT), a non-profit organization dedicated to creating, publishing, and sharing “visual voices” to educate people about the impacts of climate change. (It was initially named the Earth Vision Trust, but Balog changed the name on January 1, 2015.) The Institute’s most recent project was “Getting The Picture: Our Changing Climate,” an innovative online multimedia tool for climate education, which synchronized art, science, and adventure. People of all ages can take advantage of this free interactive educational tool to gain a fresh perspective on the changing climate. Spread the...

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