Polar Bear Antiques


Animal conservation takes a different tack with this set of antique bottles; together, they present a visual timeline of where our continued lollygagging on global warming is taking us. You can't illustrate the biodiversity crisis any simpler than this.

2006: Some polar bears; 2036: Half as many polar bears; 2066: Polar bears now a rare sighting. 2100: Oops, all out of bears (sorry).Inspired by the plight of the polar bear, industrial-design student Tiffany Burnette sandblasted the icons you see onto antique cobalt Bromo-Selzter medicine bottles, along with a different year that roughly corresponds to the diminishing number of bears.

Her own words describe her project best:

Why do we keep certain artifacts even when their original and intended use is idle? Why do we keep some objects for decades (or longer) and others for sometimes a matter of hours maybe minutes? I like the idea of finding new uses for these artifacts that have no apparent ‘use’ left which people tend to keep anyway.

Issues involving global warming and its current effects, I feel, are often too detached from our everyday lives. We may see these issues on the news and read about it them in the paper, here about environmental activists, and sign petitions, but rarely do we see something tangible that serves as a reminder of human impact on the environment. How do we make these issues tangible and ingrain them into our homes and lives and become more emotionally connected?

Endangered or threatened animals are of particular interest to me because not only are they innocent bystanders but they are unable to prepare themselves for the consequences of our actions.

All of the above inspired this project and at its core is the current prediction that polar bears may no longer roam our earth by 2100.

Parties interested in purchasing Burnette's work should contact her directly.