Milieu: Glaciogenic Art

 
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Using art to communicate research data on the environmental issues our planet faces today.

illustration & words Jill Pelto

 

 

ART HAS A UNIQUE ROLE IN COMMUNICATING ENVIRONMENTAL TOPICS.

In science there are often multiple hypothesis and many unknowns on any given issue. It’s easy to understand this constant growth and flux within research as a scientist, but this can be hard to communicate clearly to those outside of a field without leading to mistrust.

As both an artist and a scientist, I have a multidisciplinary view, and I’m empowered to develop creative approaches to share science with a broader audience. I create artwork that incorporates research data: from simple trends to vast changes. By pairing graphical information with visual imagery, I can share research stories in a different way.

I think that art is a powerful platform to help make climate change a part of everyday discussion and to engrain it in our culture. I’m just beginning to explore effective methods of climate change communication through my artwork. One is to depict relatable issues: changes that people witness locally. Getting people to think about changes they are experiencing or might experience and engaging them on those topics. Another method is storytelling: creating a narrative through art can allow people to relate to an environmental topic that is not a part of their daily lives, and thus make it more familiar to them. I have been exploring these ideas through my portfolio of data-themed artwork, through outreach and education, and through discussion.

Landscape of Change  uses data about sea level rise, glacier volume decline, increasing global temperatures, and the increasing use of fossil fuels. These data lines compose a landscape shaped by the changing climate, a world in which we are now living.

Landscape of Change uses data about sea level rise, glacier volume decline, increasing global temperatures, and the increasing use of fossil fuels. These data lines compose a landscape shaped by the changing climate, a world in which we are now living.

Climate Change Data  uses multiple quantities: the annual decrease in global glacier mass balance, global sea level rise, and global temperature increase. The numbers on the left y-axis depict quantities of glacial melt and sea level rise, and the suns across the horizon contain numbers that represent the global increase in temperature, coinciding with the timeline on the lower x-axis.

Climate Change Data uses multiple quantities: the annual decrease in global glacier mass balance, global sea level rise, and global temperature increase. The numbers on the left y-axis depict quantities of glacial melt and sea level rise, and the suns across the horizon contain numbers that represent the global increase in temperature, coinciding with the timeline on the lower x-axis.

 
Support Marine Reserves in the Antarctic: Overfishing, Bycatch, Climate Change  are inspired by the urgent need to create reserves in the ocean as well as the land. The Antarctic waters are relatively untouched by humans in comparison to other parts of the ocean, but our increased fishing activity is threatening many species who are already stressed with climate change.  Bycatch  illuminates the huge issue of Bycatch of other species that occurs, especially when marine life is overfished, thus the need for marine reserves.

Support Marine Reserves in the Antarctic: Overfishing, Bycatch, Climate Change are inspired by the urgent need to create reserves in the ocean as well as the land. The Antarctic waters are relatively untouched by humans in comparison to other parts of the ocean, but our increased fishing activity is threatening many species who are already stressed with climate change. Bycatch illuminates the huge issue of Bycatch of other species that occurs, especially when marine life is overfished, thus the need for marine reserves.

 
Take a Lesson from Nature  is about the importance of recycling. The painting recycles material by using collage of newspapers, magazines, and found natural materials such as bark, leaves, and feathers. The message is that humans should take a lesson from the natural cycles in our world and have sustainable lifestyles and societies.

Take a Lesson from Nature is about the importance of recycling. The painting recycles material by using collage of newspapers, magazines, and found natural materials such as bark, leaves, and feathers. The message is that humans should take a lesson from the natural cycles in our world and have sustainable lifestyles and societies.

 

 

Jill Pelto is an artist and scientist from the USA with B.A. degrees in Studio Art and Earth Science, as well as a Masters of Science focused on studying the sensitivity of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to changes in our Earth climate system. See more of her work at www.jillpelto.com

*All artwork and descriptions originally featured on Jill’s website, reposted with her permission.