Association of Polar Early Career Scientists

 

For September Polar Week 2019, we are showcasing a selection of artists working across a variety of media and focusing on polar regions in their work. Through their interviews, we discuss where Polar artists draw their inspiration, which media best captures the stunning and complex landscapes of the Arctic and Antarctic, and the themes that pop up throughout their interaction with polar regions. We also discuss engagement between polar researchers and art. Stay tuned for more artist blogs over the week!

Polar Art: Helene Girard

For September Polar Week 2019, we are showcasing a selection of artists working across a variety of media and focusing on polar regions in their work. Stay tuned for more artist blogs over the week!

Helene GirardName: Helene Girard
Webpage: http://www.arthelenegirard.com/
Facebook: Art Helene Girard
Instagram: @arthelenegirard

Helene is an acrylics-based artist who focuses on the landscapes of the Northwest Territories and Nunavik. In this blog post, she talks polar inspiration, luminosity and climate change.

What medium do you work in? How did you choose that medium?

Working in acrylics. I have tried other mediums in the past and acrylic has stayed with me for many years now. This is the best medium for working from great surface to tiny details.

deepwaterHow and why did you decide to focus on the polar regions in your work?

I have lived up north for over 25 years. First in the Northwest Territories (NWT), and in Nunavik for a short while and now living in Fort Smith NWT. The north seems to be calling me and it is an endless inspiration for my art.

What polar themes or imagery do you typically focus on?

I focus on landscape mostly but also experience with the world of aviation in relation to the northern regions. Some wildlife and the life of the people around me.

Do you have any advice for polar scientists and researchers who might like to engage more with using art to share their results and research?

Art touches the heart and the soul of people. The combination of these 2 worlds can only be successful. Winning the attention with 2 different mediums combined.

Les bleu de larctiqueWhat reactions do you often receive to your art?

Luminosity. People ask how can this be so clear and luminous. Come live in the north and you will see.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the polar regions today?

Of course we all know about the changes in the climate and just from living all those years in the north, I have already experienced some of the effects of the warming of our planet. On the wildlife, the people and the land. My challenge as and artist is to show the beauty of our regions by winning their hearts and souls. A drop in the bucket to bring sensitivity. To make people realize what is at stake.

Polar Art: Adele Jackson

For September Polar Week 2019, we are showcasing a selection of artists working across a variety of media and focusing on polar regions in their work, starting with Adele Jackson. Stay tuned for more artist blogs over the week!

Adele Jackson KopieName: Adele Jackson
Webpage: www.adelejackson.org
Twitter: @antarcticartist
Instagram: @adelejackson

Adele is an environmental artist based in New Zealand. She uses a variety of media, including solography, sculpture and poetry to capture the dynamic environmental and cultural landscape of Antarctica.

What medium do you work in? How did you choose that medium?

For me, the choice of medium develops out of the idea behind the artwork. Here are a few examples:

The artwork Message Cylinders is comprised of aluminium containers protecting poems, which are encased in sealed cylindrical glass vessels. The aluminium case is an echo of both early polar exploration message cylinders and the containers used to store ice cores. The sealed glass vessel is a metaphor for both the ice cores and the air bubbles extracted by scientists to analyse past climate conditions. The encased poems speak of global atmospheric circulation over millennia.

In Antarctic Sun Lines, I use pinhole cameras to create long exposure solargraph images. The sun, the tilt and rotation of the Earth, and the polar location are active in creating the artwork. The work explores the dynamics and role that the sun and the Antarctic-driven climate and ocean systems have in supporting live on Earth.

Recently I have been developing ideas for sculptures using cast iron to explore marine ecosystem primary production; and sculptural textiles to explore structures in moss growth.

Ushuaia ARGENTINA KopieHow and why did you decide to focus on the polar regions in your work?

I am interested in the environment and human relationships with the natural world. I find Antarctica’s environmental, geopolitical, and cultural connections with the wider world an extremely interesting space and place for critical enquiry.

What polar themes or imagery do you typically focus on?

Exploring interconnections, interdependence, and an Earth systems way of thinking is what motivates me. I am not limited to a particular theme or type of imagery in my work. My interests are broad.

Have you exhibited your artwork in-person or online somewhere recently or have an upcoming exhibition?

The first of a series of Antarctic Sun Lines solar-powered artworks will be displayed at Christchurch Art Gallery / Te Puna o Waiwhetū, Aotearoa / New Zealand from 1st - 6th October 2019 as part of the city’s Antarctic season opening programme. There are plans in development to present a larger exhibition of the Antarctic Sun Lines work at the SCAR / COMNAP 2020 conference in Hobart, Tasmania in July- August 2020.

Do you have any advice for polar scientists and researchers who might like to engage more with using art to share their results and research?
I would encourage scientists, researchers and artists to have conversations, talk about ideas, and explore possibilities to develop collaborative projects. I think we need to create opportunities for meaningful meetings between artists and researchers to develop closer research relationships and collaborations.

Base E Stonnington AntarcticaWhat reactions do you often receive to your art?

People have different emotional responses to different artworks. Some artworks such as the The Ice Crystal Library seem to trigger surprise and delight; other work such as Antarctic Sun Lines often triggers curiosity and questions.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the polar regions today?

I think people, and the values that underpin political and economic systems are the biggest challenges that the Polar Regions, and the natural world as a whole, face today. In my opinion, exploitation and destruction of the natural world is a direct consequence of the values driving political and economic decisions. Changing values, changing behaviour, and changing political and economic systems are not easily or quickly achieved, these are huge challenges.

Do you have a favourite fellow polar (or nature) artist?

It is impossible to name one favourite. The work of Chris Drury, Anne Noble, and Lucy + Jorge Orta is very insightful and thought provoking. For me their work stands out as some of the most critically engaging and significant Antarctic artwork of the last 20 years.

 

 

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