It would appear that despite my good intentions to write more frequently about my art I have been a complete failure! What I realise is that I reserve this space for my contemporary art projects and practice and since my last post I have been busy with other projects that include teaching and exhibition design for kids, which, for the purpose of this blog I keep separate. I have also written a large number of applications for funding and projects that haven’t come to fruition, but are leading to other opportunities. The process of writing the proposals was a great way to organise my thoughts and current art practice trajectory. Nothing wasted; even proposals are recycled.
In May I was also lucky enough to attend an incredibly inspiring weekend workshop at the very majestic Lake Ohau Lodge hosted by NZARI [who are also funding the research trip in Antarctica] and Antarctica NZ. The weekend was attended by many esteemed Antarctic scientists who discussed their research generously, journalists/media who have an interest in science, and me. The aim was to consider how to better discuss and foreground the issues relating to Climate Change, Antarctica and us as citizens of not only NZ, but the world. It was eye opening and completely frightening but also positive – an incredible group of people that I felt privileged to be amongst. Listening to the Guardian newpaper’s series of podcasts The Biggest Story in the World helped give much of the information context. At the workshop I really felt like the odd one out, but also that I had something to offer the conversations as well. I know that my art/sci workshops with primary kids are very important as they are not the usual target audience of this information but they are incredibly receptive to it. One of the most important things that I communicate to the kids in the workshop [that us grown ups often forget] is how interconnected everything is – I am talking about earth systems here, not something wishy washy! So even though Antarctica is perceived as far away and an abstract concept, it is only one length of NZ [both islands] away in winter, and two lengths of NZ away in summer and the winds, weather and ocean currents effect us every day. Antarctica is in our back yard, but sea level rise and the swift melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet will effect the world. The workshop gave me great context and back ground for thinking around my trip to the ice.
All this happening in the background doesn’t mean that I haven’t been making and thinking about art. In fact it is quite the opposite as time races toward the departure date of October 16th 2015. My lists are epic at the moment. I have been painting and drawing quite a bit as a way of focusing my thoughts. I am also going to start testing some photographic techniques so that I can take decent photographs of the research that I will be observing. Clear shiny ice crystal clusters are going to be fun/tricky and interesting to document. I am also attending a first aid course this week as part of preparations, I will also renew my passport, get an Antarctic medical in the coming weeks, read, write lists, purchase more icebreaker items, plan and draw and paint some more. I also need to find somewhere to exhibit whatever-the-heck-giant-site-specific-installation [not blue and no triangles] I will make after my trip to the ice…if you have any ideas/contacts, let me know!