Last month I attended the annual WAIS Divide Ice Core Project Science Meeting to give a presentation of my artwork. It was a fascinating experience to be in a room full of about 100 of the most distinguished ice core scientists and graduate students in the United States and reassuring to see the rigor, integrity and brilliance these folks bring to climate science research. Their primary agenda is to more fully understand glaciers and the dynamics that drive global climate processes. Having worked around these folks for the past several years, I can say that there is a high level of self monitoring and critique. Even minor discrepancies in data are scrutinized thoroughly, only the most ironclad conclusions ever make it through their review and are published.
I was honored to give a short presentation about my art project to this crowd. It was a nice milestone to summarize the past several years, researching and developing artwork about ice cores and glaciers. It was even more nice to get a genuinely interested response to the presentation. They were glad to have an artist show up interested in their work. But also, I think that my images and story offered a unique view to their work, just as their research gave me new insight into my work. To have this cross communication was one of my primary goals and satisfying.
After returning from the conference, I jumped back into the studio, madly getting the paintings and prints ready for exhibitions at Francine Seders Gallery and the Gage Academy of Art. It is a bit difficult to shift gears from creating new images, to the various tasks involved in preparing for two shows and public presentations. I have so much more to explore with this work and part of me wants to stay buried in the studio to wander in the big white and clear spaces of this subject. But it is also valuable to have the work seen, to brave the public’s response – whatever that may be. It will be interesting to have that perspective, however, I look forward to the next year, making more prints about the WAIS Divide field camp and creating a catalog with stories and images of this journey.