My painting of the "A-68" Iceberg will be exhibited at SouthernBuoy Studios in Mornington Victoria, from Jan 14 to Feb 2, 2021.
"AT SEA" is a group exhibition of over 60 artists, all from Melbourne Australia, an exhibition put together by Mava Collective.
Artist Statement for ‘At Sea’ exhibition at Southern Buoy Studios, Mornington Victoria. Jan/Feb 2021
‘A-68’ by Jacinta Payne
91 x 91cm acrylic, graphite & pigment ink on canvas
Riding the currents towards the South Atlantic, the A-68 is the largest iceberg currently on earth, with a surface area of over 5,000km2 and weighing about 1 trillion tonnes.
An iceberg is defined as ‘a large piece of freshwater ice that has ‘calved’ (broken off) from a glacier or ice shelf, and is floating freely in open (salt) water.’
In 2017 the A-68 calved from the Larsen C Ice Shelf on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula, and has since been free floating on the open sea. In April 2020 a large chunk of the berg broke away, and scientists suspect this is the beginning of the end of the A-68.
A National Geographic article from Feb 2020, tells not only of the highest ever temperature recorded in Antarctica (20°C, on Feb 9 2020) but also of the waters of the Antarctic Peninsula warming by 5° over the past few decades with the rate of ice loss almost quintupling, from 7 to 33 billion tonnes per year.
Scientists are looking into the possibility of the Larsen ice shelf collapsing as a result of the split with A-68, or indeed whether the berg was the “cork” whose removal allows ice to flow more freely into the sea, thereby contributing to further rising sea levels.
I made this painting as part of my ongoing and as-yet unreleased “Ice-Melt” series, which I have been working on for a number of years. As an environmentalist since childhood, I feel compelled to raise awareness on the impacts of our changing climate. My Ice-Melt series has found me exploring research into how rising waters and air temperatures are triggering instabilities along the coasts of Antarctica and Greenland, accelerating melting and increasing the rates of calving.
For this painting I have used acrylic paint, with graphite and pigment ink used for some of the detail. Many layers were applied, the first layers are consistent with my abstract work, using loose yet deliberate strokes, often with my non dominant hand, to achieve a different mark. I build texture then pare it back in some areas using a rag, scraper, sand paper or my hands. I create runs in the under layers that can sometimes be seen at the end. I use many different utensils in my art practice, some that I have made from scraps of fabric or cardboard or natural materials like sticks or bark, and some standard ones like the trusty paint brush or palette knife. Invariably at some point I ditch the tools and use my hands, often not a conscious decision, but a natural immersion in my process, connecting me further with the painting.
Image from @jacintapayneart on Instagram
‘A-68’will be exhibited at Southern Buoy Studios, 1/19 Carbine Way Mornington, from January 14 – February 2, 2021