Diane Burko has been studying geological data on the world’s glaciers since 2006. Some of the paintings in her Politics of Snow project use historical photographs as source material for depicting chronological change in glaciers over time. She also translates scientific data into visual form. Here, she inserts lines across an overview of Alaska’s Columbia glacier, one of the world’s fastest changing glaciers, indicating its rapid shrinkage over time. As the glacier lost mass and thinned, mechanical forces took over and large chunks of ice began to break off (“calve”) rapidly, sending an ominous “wake up” call about changes that can be set in motion by warming temperatures.
Monumental geological phenomena of the world have captured my attention throughout my career. Since 2006 my artistic practice has been located at the intersection of Art and Science.
I want my art to be more than a painting/photograph to be appreciated – I want it to be used as a tool for social change and environmental policy, bringing attention to the urgent issues of climate change.
This past year I participated in expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic Circle, which profoundly augmented my ongoing study of ice as an indicator of environmental change.
I am currently developing paintings, photographs and videos from both the Antarctic Peninsula experience in January and my September-October expedition to the Arctic (sponsored by TheArcticCircle.org) where I sailed around Svalbard with 26 other artists as well as four days collaborating with scientists from the Norwegian Polar Institute in Ndy-Alesund and Tromso.
This new body of work, my Polar Investigations, project, represents the culmination of years of study and collaboration with glacial geologists throughout the world.
Artist’s website: http://dianeburko.com