Polar Ice Retreat

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition

Abstract

Polar Ice Retreat is a series of large-scale artworks on paper that resulted from fieldwork in the Arctic and Antarctica. The individual works were made as studio drawings in watercolour or Indian ink with graphite and carbon powder, or as Intaglio prints (measuring from 153 x 167cm to 204 x 300cm).

Building on Stibbon's previous investigations of retreating glaciers and ice shelves (Antarctica, REF 2014), this work sought to advance the capacity of drawing to communicate fragility through the haptic touch of mark making and media, and to engage the viewer in critical issues of polar ice retreat. Stibbon works in the context of historic representations of the polar environment and the work of geological and environmental scientists. Her research builds on the work of practitioners and theorists such as David Rosand, who proposes the language of drawing as a more accessible and evocative form of communication.

Through sustained periods of fieldwork, Stibbon’s research process foregrounded the experiential, visceral and tactile quality of the drawing process, enabling time and weather to become evident in the surface of the work. She worked with geologists, environmentalists, writers and scientists to transform scientific data, direct observation and experiential interpretations of landscape collected during fieldwork. Utilising innovative drawing processes, experimentation with scale and fragile drawing materials, Stibbon creates unique, emotive records of glaciers and glacial landscapes. The work demonstrates ways in which drawing can offer an effective and evocative engagement with climate change, particularly in places where fragility and change risk being concealed by environmental features that seem massive and permanent.

The drawings have been exhibited extensively, most notably Ice Limit (2015) at the Polar Museum, Cambridge and Ice Mirage (2015) at Galerie Bastian, Berlin, alongside historical documentation of early Polar expeditions.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCristea Roberts Gallery, London
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

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