In June 2014 I traveled to the Svalbard Archipelago, 10 degrees from the Arctic Circle,to take part in a residency aboard a Barkentine sailing vessel. The Archipelago itself consists of 65% glaciers, and is home to walrus, seal, beluga, bow head and narwhale, polar bear, arctic fox, countless migratory birds and marine life. The Arctic and the Antarctic are the cooling systems of the planet, this ability diminishing as the sea ice diminishes, in turn raising temperatures as heat is absorbed into uncovered oceans. Increasing acidification and salinity affects key species such as plankton, krill and crustaceans. Release of carbon from the permafrost increases what is in the atmoshere. Jet streams change pushing precipitation further south. The Arctic, at once incredibly beautiful, seeminglt untouched and remote, has warmed twice as much as the rest of the world. Alot of the work I did while on this residency was to record sound, the sounds of ice melting, glaciers calving, wind, water running. I also made sketches and videos. Mainly I wanted to make very big drawings, and these ink washes are the beginnings of work that I hope will be very large as are the glaciers, ice sheets and mountains of the Arctic,despite the horror of its irrevocable and rapid loss.
Posted by suzi lyon