This body of work continues my ongoing visual investigation into our planet’s sustainability crisis. It was stimulated by my reading of J.G. Ballard’s (1962) science fiction novel, The Drowned World. Ballard’s narrative depicts a post-apocalyptic future in which global warming, caused by heightened solar radiation, has rendered much of the Earth’s surface uninhabitable, with only a small population living in Greenland. The novel eerily predicts our current climate crisis, with flora and fauna gravitating towards the north and south poles in the struggle to survive.
In this series, I have juxtaposed photographic images of glacial ice from the Quaternary Ice Age (250,000 years ago), taken in Ilulissat, Greenland, in March 2023, with pictures of submerged plastic flora and fauna. The work shows the flaws in Nature’s current survival strategy, as many natural elements flee their native environments, now too hot and inhospitable to sustain them.
Janet Tavener has exhibited throughout Australia and internationally in Korea and Iceland. She has been a finalist in numerous major art awards, including the Sir John Sulman Prize, the Art Gallery of NSW and the National Photographic Portrait Prize (National Portrait Gallery Canberra, 2011, 2013 & 2015). She has been an artist in residence for the Historic House Trust, Sydney and at the SIM Residencies in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 2017 and 2023. She holds a BA in Fine Arts, a Graduate Diploma in Professional Art Studies from the City Art Institute, Sydney, and an MFA from the University of NSW.
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