Fragile Futures at Upright Gallery in Edinburgh features two artists from the city whose individual trips to the seas north of Norway have made them aware of the impact of climate change and rising sea levels. Both are intrigued by the beauty of ice travelling in the sea – its shapes, qualities of light, movement, structure and translucency. Jude Nixon’s work reflects her interest in non-traditional materials such as pigments, graphite, gesso and varnishes to create more abstract interpretations, while Mary Walters works mainly in print and mixed media, inspired by wild landscapes, their geology and geomorphology. As a result of global warming, the Arctic region and its sea-ice are now under grave threat as saltier Atlantic water gravitates northward, endangering the Arctic waters, which are highly reflective of the sun’s heat and light – a key regulator of oceanic temperature.
[See video] An artist talk at the Gallery was held to complement the exhibition, in which Jude and Mary discussed their responses to the loss of Arctic ice with glaciologist Dr Donald Slater, NERC Independent Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, who offered an an insight into working in the Arctic, demonstrating the stark changes the region and its fragile ecosystem are facing as global temperatures rise – the central issue facing the UN COP26 conference being held in Glasgow.