There are moments when everything changes. The years of 2020 and 2021 are such a time, and Drift Ice: Loss and Change is my response to the experience of COVID. Climate change, coronavirus, and my personal losses and changes from my husband’s death through my move to Svalbard up to today, are the three strands that braid together in this work. For me, the mutability of drift ice became the perfect metaphor for the process of change. As temperatures turn cold, patches of ice crystallize on the sea. Carried by currents they drift together, and apart. The ice forms a white calligraphy on the verdigris sea. It forms islands, and then splits apart. Arctic animals depend on the ice. I have seen walruses sunbathing with their young on pancake ice. I have watched polar bears on the hunt jump from one piece of ice to another. Then as the sea warms, the ice that was so beautiful is lost. It disappears as if it had never been.
Drift Ice: Loss and Change is made up of four pieces. In the Beginning, which is two meters by one and a half meters. The two five meter by one meter pieces of increasing complexity, North of Norway one and two. And the complex, and highly personal, ten meter by one meter title painting, Loss and Change. Icons from my personal life are embedded within this painting. All paintings, with the exception of In the Beginning, are unstretched so that they can wrap around corners, or hang like a tapestry. They are painted in acrylic paint primarily in blues and whites. This work is accompanied by an audio narration tying together climate change, coronavirus, and my personal life experiences. It is recorded against a background of the sounds of wind and ice. The narration is not available on this website, although the seven minute artist talk given at Galleri Svalbard is available below.