Icebergs are a majestic sight, drifting along in the oceans after breaking off from glaciers or ice shelves. Yet, they could also be harbingers of something much more troubling, as the massive trillion-ton iceberg breaking off the West Antarctic ice shelf recently seems to indicate.
Hoping to draw attention to the awe-inspiring nature of icebergs, as well as the impacts of a changing climate, American artist Zaria Forman captures the stately grandeur of these floating behemoths in large-scale pastels.
Forman's aim is to get people to understand what is at stake beyond dry data and somber news reports:
Many of us are intellectually aware that climate change is our greatest global challenge, and yet the problem may feel abstract, the imperiled landscapes remote. I hope my drawings make Antarctica’s fragility visceral to the viewer, emulating the overpowering experience of being beside a glacier.
Forman's latest series of works was completed during a residency with National Geographic Explorer, where she got the chance to get up close and study these immense formations firsthand. She explains:
I find it important with my art to represent the beauty in the landscape because I think that helps people fall in love with it more easily. But my challenge is to find that balance the beauty of the landscape but also representing the negative aspects of what is happening.
Forman's love for art-making was nurtured by her late mother, a photographer, who took her daughters out on expeditions to photograph nature. It was during these trips that Forman developed her sense of composition and appreciation for wild, open spaces. Forman's other works depict the ever-changing tides, vapours and currents of water, fog and storm. Yet, it was during a trip out to Greenland in 2012, to scatter her mother's ashes as requested, that Forman seems to have found a new ephemeral muse, encased in ice.
Forman's sensitivity to colour, composition and presence is apparent in these arresting iceberg portraits, which sometimes seems to glow with an eerie life of their own.
But beyond the serious matter of what we humans are doing to alter the planet's ecological balance, there's also the matter of our place in the universe, says Forman:
Perhaps my compositions offer a reminder of how small we are in light of our planet's potential (or, even more extremely, in light of the universe’s infinitude). Reflecting on this has always been therapeutic for me, and I hope the drawings offer viewers a similar experience.
To see more, visit Zaria Forman.
[Via: This Is Colossal]