It was a revelation in 1968 to see for the first time ’Earthrise’, the breathtaking picture from space of our beautiful blue planet. That image changed our vision of the world - it showed us our home as a whole living organism.
Since the 1970s I have been a part of the Green Movement and over the last ten years my art practice has been to make a body of work about Climate Change and Sea Level Rise. The scientific facts are so many, so difficult to comprehend, are so changeable and so frightening that they seem too big to absorb, so I strive to embody them experientially, as if like Turner, I were strapped to the mast of a ship sailing into the apocalypse.
Sublimity is reunion with the spiritual self through the contemplation of nature - through making my work I endeavour to make visual the effects on us of future climate change.
Over sustained periods of time I make large scale, abstract paintings on paper from the humble materials of sea water, rain and carbon, the essential elements of climate change. While using delicate pen marks in this laborious and contemplative task, I imagine myself as an infinitessimal part of the infinite universe, my work critiques contemporary human subjectivity, our solipsism, our assumed dominion over the natural world.
The work embodies the idea of a liminal space in which civilization recedes and existence becomes dominated and defined by the environment. Like Japanese paintings of tsunami, my work formalises and interprets the vast catastrophe of sea level rise. My aim is to present beautiful work, drawing in the viewer to enjoy it, but also to provoke serious thought and an emotional response and create an energy for action to prevent the collapse of our ecosystems and to mitigate climate chaos. This work is a place for us to stop and think.
My series of paintings is called ‘Drowned World’, referencing JG Ballard’s prophetic, brilliant, post apocalyptic novel, ’The Drowned World’, written in 1962 and set in 2145 about living with global warming.
The films mark with a sombre beat the inevitable journey in time.
We have woken the giants at the poles, they are melting and are irrevocably changing the world we inhabit. Over the next decades humans will have to find ways of living with sea level rise and my work over the last ten years has been to persuade people that it is real and that we are facing an unknowable future.
PAINTINGS ON PAPER USING CARBON, SEA AND RAIN WATER