Rare Earth is a creative collaboration between a team of scientists, based at the University of Exeter's Penryn Campus in Cornwall investigating climate and environmental change in the Antarctic, and two artists based in west Cornwall. The project has been supported and fostered by the Creative Exchange programme of the Environmental and Sustainability Institute at the Penryn Campus. James Scourse and Alejandro Roman Gonzalez have now participated in three Antarctic expeditions between 2017 and 2020, investigating the rapid retreat of glaciers in the Antarctic Peninsula as a result of mainly ocean warming, and the response of the physical and biological system to these rapid changes. This project, ICEBERGS, is funded jointly by the UK Natural Environment Research Council and its equivalent in Chile, CONICYT, and involves many collaborators, including scientists and key logistic support from the British Antarctic Survey. Alejandro is a photographer and his images of the Antarctic icescapes, seascapes and landscapes, and micrographs of Antarctic specimens, have stimulated a creative response by Bridget Roseberry, a painter, and Katrina Slack, a sculptor, both based in St Ives, Cornwall.
Rare Earth was due to host a physical exhibition in April 2020 but this was postponed due to the global pandemic. Here we present an online selection of images and artwork from the Rare Earth portfolio. The art and science presented here constitutes a fusion that expresses the majesty and other-worldliness - the rarity - of Antarctica, but also an expression of fragility and loss, and of the implications of these changes for the whole Earth.
Artists Bridget Roseberry and Katrina Slack have created a collection of work using research themes, images and sound recordings brought back from the trip. The result is a mixed media collection of photographs, paintings, sculptures and recordings. This collaboration has explored worlds under the microscope, on the surface of the ice, in the ocean and on the ocean floor and draws attention to the effects of climate change on the Antarctic environment and, in turn, the impact these changes have on the whole planet.
For more information about the Creative Exchange Programme of the Environment and Sustainability Institute of the University of Exeter, and about the University's Arts and Culture Strategy, please follow the links below: