University of Dundee University of Dundee
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3 February 2014

'Melt' - new exhibition from CECHR artist in residence

Photo opportunity: 2.20pm on Friday, 7th February at Tower Foyer Gallery, Tower Building. BGS scientists will join Jean Duncan for the opening of 'Melt'.

An exhibition of paintings by Jean Duncan, artist in residence at the University of Dundee's Centre for Environmental Change & Human Resilience (CECHR), that shows the effects of climate change on globally important glaciers, will open later this week.

'Melt' features drawings inspired by a recent trip to the British Geological Survey (BGS) observatory at Virkisjokull in Iceland, and will be on display at the University's Tower Foyer Gallery from Friday, 7th February until the end of March.

Jean spent time at the observatory site in south-east Iceland, which serves as a base for studying the evolution of the glacier and the surrounding landscape and how both are affected by regional climate. The trip was funded by a Dundee Visual Arts Awards and BGS to make drawings linked to fieldwork.

Sensors at the site are constantly collecting climate and seismic data. Repeated high resolution surveys study how both the glacier and land surface, and the deposits beneath, change over time.

Jean, who worked alongside scientists very familiar with the glacier, said she recorded the changes that occurred daily in sketches and drawings.

'Spending hours in the same area, looking and looking again at the nature of the ice allowed me to focus on the elements that made up the glacier's landscape, most particularly flow patterns in the melting ice, the supra streams and the river water,' she said.

Surface pattern in rivers assists the hydrologists in identifying the fastest flow in a river, and has interested artists from Leonardo da Vinci to Bridget Riley.

As artist in residence with CECHR, Jean works with academics to interpret their interdisciplinary research into environmental change and their efforts to promote sustainability. Engaging with the public to communicate the leading-edge work carried out by researchers is a key component of her role, and this latest exhibition helps to demonstrate the challenges brought about by climate change and melting glaciers.

'Melt' opens in the Tower Foyer Gallery on Friday, 7th February with talks at 2.30pm in Baxter Room 1.36 from BGS scientists Dr Jez Everest, Brighid O'Dochartaigh, and Dr Andrew Black.

The exhibition runs until 29th March, and can be viewed between 9.30am-8.30pm on weekdays and from 9.30am-4.30pm on Saturdays.

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