Antarctic circles

Bergman, Lucy (2015) Antarctic circles. Lucy Bergman.

Abstract

The output is a creative project comprising an exhibition of songs, photography and sculptural books inspired by the environment, wildlife and cultural heritage of Antarctica. It is a collaboration between visual artists Lucy Bergman and Adele Jackson. Bergman’s finished works are cycle of 5 songs, written in response to the Antarctic Treaty and the landscape and wildlife it protects. Research Process: The name of the project takes inspiration from the circular 60° southern line of latitude that defines the geographical extent of the Antarctic Treaty. The treaty, an international agreement, preserves Antarctica as a place of peace and scientific research where the natural environment is protected against exploitation. The artists have used the circular theme as a creative device to develop the form and the content of the work: the circle recurs in the song structures and rhythms. The sculptural books take on circular and spherical forms. The songs were recorded and performed alongside an exhibition of lyrics, photographic images and other handmade artefacts relating to the context of the project. The songs could also be heard through The Seafarer Listening Station (a converted antique radio). Research Insight: The works provide visual and sonic information on the subject of Antarctica. The project as a whole showcases how artists can employ several different approaches when engaging with a body of land in order to convey a sense of place. For Bergman the outputs provided a new model of collaborative exchange specifically exploring a visual approach to songwriting, which has engendered further research into songwriting methods and methodology. Dissemination: The project was disseminated through a peer reviewed exhibition at Barbican Library (2015), accompanied by a lecture including a live musical performance of the Antarctic songs. The project was also exhibited at The Artworks, Halifax (2016), alongside a public lecture and performance.

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