Tingmiatornis arctica - Sunset Cruise
Whale sculpture plus single bowl in porcelain
H40 x L40 xD50 cm
Scientists have predicted that due to the increasing melting of the sea-ice of the Northwest Passage, animal species from the Arctic Ocean, Pacific and Atlantic Ocean will interact in unprecedented ways. Warmer water from the Atlantic is increasingly flowing into colder Arctic water, raising its temperature which reduces the formation of sea-ice and also affecting the halocline layer between deep oceanic heat and the fresher water at the surface.
The rapid thawing of the arctic is revealing many new archeological finds. The recently discovered prehistoric toothed arctic bird Tingmiatornis arctica is used as a visual reference in this work, alongside the humpback whale, a species spotted in arctic waters outside its normal range. I play with the forms of these animals which I intertwine and abstract to create a surrealist organic landscape. In this landscape, I stage dream-like interactions between humans and wildlife to express how human beings around the globe are attempting to emotionally process current findings about climate change and its significance. In the construction of this work, I play with the idea of the fragility that is inherent to clay by creating a sense of peril in the delicacy with which the piece is balanced. A vessel is placed on a structure that suggests the flippers of a humpback whale or perhaps bones, perhaps a landscape. The reference is open – we are given information but not enough to form a concrete idea.In this dream-like setting, I see the ocean space as symbolic of creativity. I imagine this bubble of creative silence is shifting in a perilous way and I attempt to express a sadness at the loss, the fear for the future. I also wish to pay respect to this incredible beauty and force with which nature is imbued and thus feel hopeful that these changes can be reversed and these wild places can be preserved.