By casting Polar Bears within a narrative framework, this immersive mixed-media installation will blend fantasy and science to imagine the future of the Arctic. To explore the facets of a unique species inhabiting a unique place, I will gather material from ecological research, literature, history, myths, and folklore.
The exhibition’s overall atmosphere will take its cue from Arctic terrain. I will employ a range of media – drawings, sculptures, artist books, maps, light and sound - to evoke the otherworldly quality of the North Pole. The walls will feature large, ink drawing showing the decline of ice in the Arctic. Scale will be an important consideration. Humans are small in comparison to the heft of the Polar Bear. However, the Bear’s scale is dwarfed within the context of its massive habitat. Sculpted Polar Bear figures will be clustered on the floor and on “ice” pedestals. These sculptures are made by casting sewn forms in special materials that imbue each figure with unique attributes. The casting mediums will reference an aspect of the Bear’s scope of influence: paper pulp (terrestrial), seaweed (maritime), and fabric printed with constellations (celestial).
Polar Bears serve as the guiding light behind The Arctic Recovery Project; and the species has served mankind since ancient times. The constellation Ursa Major (great bear) has been a nighttime beacon of orientation for centuries. Also, many myths and folktales feature the animal, ensuring that wisdom and tradition is imparted to future generations. So that I may also pass on important information, I will publish a children’s book to tell the story of the Polar Bears. I have produced books to complement the themes of prior projects like Catching the Moon and In Loving Memory.