Ex­hi­bi­tion com­bines art and sci­ence

Kapi-Mana News - - CONVERSATIONS -

The frozen beauty of Antarc­tica is com­ing to Porirua this month.

Artist Gabrielle O’Con­nor’s lat­est ex­hi­bi­tion, which opens at Pataka on June 19, was cre­ated dur­ing her 2015 res­i­dency on the frozen Ross Sea.

She worked along­side the New Zealand K131 sci­en­tific re­search team as it stud­ied the oceans and ice com­po­si­tions of Antarc­tica.

‘‘The aim of the pro­ject was to es­tab­lish an art-sci­ence col­lab­o­ra­tion, where O’Con­nor’s artis­tic skills and per­spec­tive could help pro­vide a new way of look­ing at Antarc­tic re­search and sci­en­tific dis­cov­ery,’’ Pataka di­rec­tor Reuben Friend said.

Her study of the struc­tures en­abled the scientists to build more ac­cu­rate pro­jec­tions of fu­ture ice shelf devel­op­ment.

O’Con­nor as­sisted the re­searchers by scoop­ing fin­ger­nail-sized ici­cles, called platelets, out of the re­search bore­holes drilled into the ice. This pre­vented the ice holes from freez­ing over and al­lowed the scientists to study the size and com­po­si­tion of the frozen platelets.

For the ex­hi­bi­tion, Stu­dio Antarc­tica, O’Con­nor has taken th­ese del­i­cate platelets and pre­sented them as an in­stal­la­tion of pho­tog­ra­phy, paint­ing and draw­ing, as well as a mul­ti­chan­nel video pro­jec­tion and a site spe­cific sculp­tural work made from pack­ag­ing tape and light.

Her study of the struc­tures en­abled the scientists to build more ac­cu­rate pro­jec­tions of fu­ture ice shelf devel­op­ment.

‘‘Dur­ing this par­tic­u­lar study the re­searchers found that the platelets were form­ing in far larger size and quan­tity than ex­pected,’’ Friend said.

‘‘This has sig­nif­i­cant ef­fects on the for­ma­tion of un­der­wa­ter ice vol­umes and global sea lev­els,’’

Born in Mel­bourne, O’Con­nor stud­ied sculp­ture at the Vic­to­ria Col­lege of the Arts be­fore mov­ing to Welling­ton in 2001. The ex­hi­bi­tion at Pataka runs un­til Septem­ber 18.

Gabrielle O’Con­nor’s ex­hi­bi­tion opens this Sun­day.

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