The Art of Climate Change

The Cape Farewell project was set up to illustrate climate change in the Arctic. A ship was rented and three expeditions were made with 16 leading artists, educators and scientists to an archipelago 11 degrees south of the North Pole. It was hoped that artists might be able to capture the public's interest about this issue in a way that scientists had not been able. Each artist was committed to producing one piece of work that would be a call to action. The last expedition was in deepest winter; the artists took photos, filmed, walked, sketched and experimented with ice and sound, visited scientific research centres and deserted settlements. The experience gave them a chance "to see the beauty of what we stand to lose". The results are on display at the Natural History Museum. There are photographs of text projected on ice: "sadness melts, cold library of ice, black abyss". There is a video of a slowly collapsing iceberg which is like watching resources slip away. Another artist found an uncharted island, revealed by the retreating glacier, and claimed it. He called it Nymark (Norwegian for new ground) and all the official documents needed to register it form his artwork. Two artists came upon a pile of whalebones on the beach. This inspired them to illustrate the subject of stranded whales. They transported the minke whale's bones and crystallised them in an industrial freezer. Another artist lowered a hydrophone into the water and recorded the sound: "I felt that all these sounds were latent in the ice for thousands of years, bursting into the air or our time, coming to us from a vast distance. :: The Ship: The Art of Climate Change

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