Sir David Attenborough has played a crucial role in the education and championing of environmental conservation and research. We have all grown up watching him on our screens, and he has always been a massive inspiration to me and my work. It is an honour and a privilege to be able to use my art to showcase his life’s work along with the talented Doug Allan, cameraman and cinematographer to share and bring awareness to climate issues we are currently facing.
Environmental conservation has always been important to me as climate change is affecting everything around us. The melting sea ice in the Antarctic and the rising sea temperatures have dramatically affected even the smallest of sea creatures.
The ice cliff glacier I have painted, the first in a series of thirteen titled: Sir David Attenborough: Pieces of the Puzzle, is in Leifdenfjord, Svalbard, Norwegian Arctic. Dough Allan took this photo for the 1998 BBC Wildlife Special. In collaboration with Doug, I chose this photo because I liked the softness of the snow against the harsh cracks in the ice. The photograph captures the feel of early Spring in the Arctic and depicts a large crack running from the sea to the base of the glacier.
Ice does not form completely solid, and forms cracks in the ice like a giant jigsaw puzzle. The Glaciers are like rivers of ice flowing down from high in the mountains to the sea, over hundreds of years these glaciers have played a significant role in how the climate reacts. To me, it was quite shocking seeing how fast they have melted in just the last 30 years. The glaciers are an excellent tool for scientific research to use, enabling comparison over a long period. The rate of advance is a good indication of what is happening to the climate.
This picture is the first part of the much bigger picture!