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Svalbard Abstractions

Svalbard Abstractions is a body of visual artwork based on my first-hand experience of witnessing climate change in the Arctic world. In the summer of 2023, I participated in the Arctic Circle Residency in the International Territory of Svalbard, an archipelago close to the North Pole, and an epicenter for climate research. I lived on a Tall Ship and sailed with artists and scientists, experiencing Svalbard’s unique ecosystem, which is currently under thread from human-made climate change. This experience, combined with the realities of mass extinction, and how changes in the Arctic impact our world ecosystems, profoundly changed me.

 

Svalbard Abstractions will act as an empathetical monument to different aspects of Arctic climate change, such as glacial melt, mass extinction, eco-grief in the landscape, and legacies of whaling. These works will also contain a mystical core connected to understandings of deep time.

 

Though this series is primarily mixed-media painting collaged on canvas, stylistically, I want to reference tapestry, which historically portrayed religious themes and political events that were considered societally important by patriarchal rulers at the time. As a contemporary feminist, I want to re-imagine tapestry abstractly and empathetically, and focus it on the most crucial matter of our contemporary world: climate change.

 

In tandem with this visual series, I am creating a poetry collection which explores themes of climate change in Svalbard from the perspective of interspecies dialogues and interviews. This work contains a narrative structure within it which relates directly to the sequence of works of Svalbard Abstractions

Watch my Artist Talk Below

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