I believe that where numbers and threats fail, emotions and people’s achievements can tell volumes and bring us together in solving insurmountable tasks.
I am a Wellington artist creating a body of work painting live portraits of individuals who work on climate change research and mitigation. For the last year and a half I have been researching Antarctic scientific methods and climate change significance, reading, watching documentaries, interviewing scientists, and building my vision for how this project can share the scientific discoveries with the public so that they can benefit from science through the visual stories of the sitters.
The portraits I am working on represent the diverse scientific community with geologist Peter Barrett, paleoclimatologist Nancy Bertler, sea ice researcher Pat Langhorne, and many others, including inspirational figures like Dr Jane Goodall, policy maker and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, and local activists like a Māori biodynamic grower and young high school youth leader. While all of my sitters have an overlapping concern for our planet’s future, each of them has their own story to tell about climate change work and how they’ve chosen to address the issues at hand. I am aiming to paint about 12 portraits out of which six are currently in progress, with many other contributors identified and a few remaining to complete the picture.
In June I will participate in the Antarctic Conference in Christchurch where I am looking to deepen my understanding of Antarctic science, continue building my network for identifying sitters as well as looking into further outlets for the resulting work while sharpening my spoken/written message. In addition to presenting a poster about my project at the conference, I will hold a mini exhibition showcasing some of the paintings in the works so far as well as a melting Antarctica sculpture.
As an artist I am entirely self funded currently earning below taxable minimum through teaching classical drawing in my studio.
The end goal of my project is a series of exhibitions, including at DOC and the Parliament exhibition space Bowen House and media coverage of my project for most of which I already have letters of support. Through the stories told in my portraits, relevant artifacts, and the melting sculpture of Antarctica I am hoping to share the urgency for climate change mitigation with the general public and inspire action on all levels, from the government to the individual.
Please feel free to contact me for further information if you’d like to take part in this journey with me or help share the stories.