DM WITMAN — ARTIC ELEGY
The American painter William Bradford set off for an expedition to experience the monolithic icebergs in 1864 off the coast of Labrador in the North Atlantic Ocean. He was accompanied by William H. Pierce, a photographer from Maine. These photographs by Pierce may be the first known of these icy structures.
Historian, scholar, and author Geoffrey Batchen leans into an understanding of Roland Barthe’s seminal book Camera Lucida regarding the image of a dead young man, I read, “This will be and this has been; I observe a catastrophe which has already occurred.” Barthes discerns that every photograph contains the sign of his death, and that the essence of photography is the implied message: ''That has been.''
And so, too, the Arctic and its fleeting icebergs have “been”.
PRINT INFORMATION: Salt Prints with Gum Bichromate | 15”x15” image on 19”x19” sheet | Edition: 3+2AP
My research has been deeply rooted within the realms of grief and mourning in regards to climate change and can be best described as “ecological grief.” The issue of climate change is large - huge - and perhaps too difficult and overwhelming to consider on a daily basis. And for many, they will not think about it at all, as they have no connection to their surroundings, nature, or their environment. There will be a few who do have a connection, who are aware, and who grieve and mourn the losses - these are the artists, the poets, and the activists. Perhaps it is we who can serve as the conduits for a collective experience to develop a stronger sense of love and commitment to the places, the systems, the flora & fauna that inspire, nurture, and sustain us.
DM is a Maine visual artist working with photographic media. She was educated in the environmental sciences which led to her working as a field biologist for more than a decade. During this same period of time, she merged her scientific practice of inquiry and discovery with that of expression and making in her creative practice. Her work questions our relationship to the natural world, our place in the universe, and our responsibly to this earth and those who inhabit it.
For additional information about DM Witman: www.dmwitman.com