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Antarctic Terror: A Screaming Symphony Of Icebergs

Hamish Bowman (Department of Geology, Otago University) generated the model of Ōtākou Harbour for volume calculation. 

An Iceberg is being upcycled from local Dunedin textile waste materials by Senorita AweSUMO as part of the Art & Earth exhibition 15 - 22 May at the Dunedin Community Gallery. A collaboration between zero waste textile artist Fiona Clements & Chrisitian Ohneiser from the Dept of Geology at Otago University. The iceberg forms the centerpiece for performance and audience participation in exploring climate anxiety. This soft sculpture will be on industrial wheels with handles at each corner for attendees to manage the ‘iceberg’ in collaboration with 3 other humans, cooperating to move, communicating their anxiety through vocalisation and movement, working together to acknowledge their fears and process the trauma of climate anxiety.

Fiona Clements

Speaking to the urgency within which we need to act after the Climate Commission inaction report from February 2021.

The urgency to act feels imminent,

the policy to do so feels inadequate.

The anger and frustration grows daily

We watch, we speak out

We give our time to causes

That create frailty

Within our hearts and our whenua

As we continue to wait for action from above

Those grassroots grow tenderly

To enact La Revolution!

“My climate anxiety feels as big if not bigger than the icebergs rafting off and I don’t believe our current government is taking it seriously enough or acting fast enough, that’s why I chose to create this work, The kaupapa of ‘Climate Emergency’ must be taken more seriously than ever before, Greta is right “30 years of bla, bla, bla” isn’t good enough, where’s the real deep ecological REgenerative action?!” says artist Fiona Clements.

Join us in the Lower Octagon Friday May 14th 6pm for iceberg play time. Open to the Public Sat 15th, Sun 16th 12 - 3pm.

LONG FORM: The Science

Our planet is warming and Antarctica’s ice sheets are shrinking (losing mass) not from melting but from thousands of icebergs which leave the continent every year. The icebergs come in all shapes and sizes ranging from small (the size of a house) to large ones which are hundreds of metres thick and stretch from Dunedin to Christchurch (Iceberg B-15).

Most icebergs that break off Antarctica stay close to the coast, travelling counter clockwise around the continent until they reach the Antarctic Peninsula. At the Antarctic Peninsula they drift north and enter the Antarctic Circumpolar Current where they will eventually break apart and melt far from human eyes. Sometimes they float past Ōtepoti, who remembers the icebergs of 2006? where we witnessed Shrek the sheep being flown and mown to one for entertainment and fundraising for Cure Kids.

“Today we use sensitive satellites to monitor the rate of ice loss from Antarctica which have shown that Antarctica loses about 252 gigatons of ice per year (enough to fill Dunedin Harbour 1500 times). This seems like a big number but geological reconstructions and computer models have shown us that this is nothing compared to what Antarctica has done in the past when the climate warmed naturally. We know from sea-level records that under natural warming at the end of the last ice age sea-level rise may have been up to 4 cm per year for a few centuries which has been attributed to accelerate melting from Antarctica.The most recent work has shown that 3 million years atmospheric CO2 levels are here same as they are today and sea-level was about 13 metres higher. Most of this extra water, which raised sea-level came from the Antarctic Ice Sheets.” Says Christian Ohneiser from the Dept of Geology at the University of Otago.

This might all seem bad but all is not lost yet. We still have a window of opportunity to fix the problem and stop Antarctica from losing its ice.

This amount feels astounding and such loss is only the greater the less we do now as a global community. Aotearoa has a leading role to play in leading the adaption of the pacific nations through our mātauranga pasifika voices.

What actions can we all take with our human potential to create action in this space?

There are many everyday actions we can take as individuals AND we should do those if we can, but there are many people affected disproportionately by the climate crisis who cannot even participate in the simplest of actions because they are living in spaces that are environmentally degraded, unhealthy, plastic ridden, islands and oceans. Papatūānuku is screaming out for our shift towards a way of living that honours the time and space it takes to be human and collaborate with others to create sustenance for all.

The physical and vocal expression of self can assist in transmuting climate anxiety as we face uncertainty in our future, and our trust of the current governance bodies we have to take this as seriously as we truly need them too. This project allows the general public to view and participate in showing how much this process affects us as individual and collective human voices. Our voices will be heard and we welcome you to join us in being as loud as you can…

Speaking to the urgency within which we need to act after the Climate Commission inaction report from February 2021.

The urgency to act feels imminent,

the policy to do so feels inadequate.

The anger and frustration grows daily

We watch, we speak out

We give our time to causes

That create frailty

Within our hearts and our whenua

As we continue to wait for action from above

Those grassroots grow tenderly

To enact La Revolution!

“My climate anxiety feels as big if not bigger than the icebergs rafting off and I don’t believe our current government is taking it seriously enough or acting fast enough, that’s why I chose to create this work, The kaupapa of ‘Climate Emergency’ must be taken more seriously than ever before, Greta is right “30 years of bla, bla, bla” isn’t good enough, where’s the real deep ecological REgenerative action?!” says artist Fiona Clements.

Let's face the fear together and transmute it into hope as we move to vocalise those fears into open space. An Iceberg is being upcycled from local Dunedin waste materials which will form the centerpiece for performance and audience participation. This soft sculpture will be on industrial wheels with handles at each corner for attendees to manage the ‘iceberg’ in collaboration with 3 other humans, co-operating to move, communicating their anxiety through vocalisation and movement, working together to acknowledge their fears and process the trauma of climate anxiety.

The physical and vocal expression of self assists us in transmuting climate anxiety, facing an uncertain future, trusting the current governance bodies to take this seriously. Public are invited to participate to show how this affects us as individual and collective human voices. Facing our fears and transmuting into hope as we vocalise in open space together.

Join your voice with mine, take action and release the anxiety together.

Upcycled Iceberg playtimes: Lower Octagon:

Opening Performance Fri May 14th 6pm

Sat 15th/Sun 16th 12 - 3pm

Group bookings of 4 via senorita.awesumo@gmail.com

Adult supervision compulsory.

A waiver form must be signed by all participants ensuring you follow & understand the below Health & Safety information.

IceBergs Health & Safety Plan May 14/15/16 2021 Fiona Clements (Senorita AweSUMO)

Area will be cordoned off from public access with cones and ropes to form a contained area.

Iceberg will be contained and moving inside this area, with operators only.

Operators will be trained accordingly

Wheels will be chocked/braked during any stationary times

Operators must wear steel caps/boots/closed toed shoes - NO SHOES/No participation

Iceberg has handles on each corner for each operator

Minimum of 4 operators at any one time

An iceberg concierge will collect details of each participant and a waiver will be signed by all participants for any liabilities in the case of injury, there is none expected, this is a formality.

Public Liability Insurance is held by the creator.

First Aid Kit will be onsite

Gloves will be available for use.

Handles of iceberg will be sanitised between different users

Any trained operators will be advised not to attend if showing flu like symptoms unless tested negative

Must hold handles on iceberg at all times

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