The Cold Edge, first exhibited in Dublin in 2012 brings together photographs from my trips to the Arctic and Antarctic. I believe they emanate a sense of uncertain beauty, fragile yet fierce, from a liminal zone where we face the fear of straying further – not only physically, but in a metaphorical sense too. But rather than warning people away from the polar regions, I want us to embrace them as part of our world. This does not necessarily mean travelling there; we should integrate them into our understanding of daily life on this planet, instead of some fetishising them as mythical, exotic place, carefully edited and sterilised for TV audiences. The polar regions are real, and they are right next door.
These ethereal images depict the unforgiving wilderness, wild animals and blue icebergs of the Arctic and Antarctic, and question our romantic relationship with remote, harsh and pristine environments. The Cold Edge images resonate with a quiet tension; all may not be right in the Garden of Eden.
While the frozen regions of our planet have the power to ignite imaginations, for most of the seven billion people on Earth, the Arctic and Antarctic remain abstract and unreachable. I’ve been lucky enough to voyage north and south by ship, to experience the serenity of the oceans and polar regions – and realise how finite our planet is.
Rapid change is taking place at the poles; CO2 emissions are contributing to the loss of Arctic sea ice, and melting ice caps are fueling sea level rise. We are starting to grasp how badly we are fouling the nest, and how our acts have repercussions elsewhere. The future of the Arctic and Antarctic is intertwined with our own – through my photography, I want to make people not only fall in love with their home planet, but to start giving a damn and to take action to protect this dirty little planet. We’ve only got one of them.
The Cold Edge: Solo exhibition at the Copper House Gallery, Dublin, September 13 – October 2nd 2012
Christmas exhibition at the Copper House Gallery, Dublin (group show), 2012
Prints: Limited edition prints of all the images are available – contact The Copper House Gallery in Dublin for more details. Phone: +353 1 478 4088
Licensing: Millennium Images, London