If the ice could talk


Today was the first meeting of the study group. Working in a small basement studio in Sydney, with some building renovation happening above us, conditions were not ideal. Somehow we managed to maintain focus.

Participants included a German sculptor/arts therapist; an English Rolfer/movement improviser; an Australian Aboriginal artist/educator; a white Australian artist/educator.

The workshop was successful in that we began to get to know each other and to begin sharing something of our connections with the environment. We explored moving and drawing as ways to find connections in a space.

Before we began moving, I asked everyone to write words and phrases they associate with Antarctica. Responses included: “If the ice could talk”, “molecular”, memories”, “layers”, “desolate”, “space”, “melting.” Do these words reflect participant’s personal and cultural knowledge of land and landscape? Will the words change over time? What will we learn from each other as we work more together?

Antarctic thoughts

After an introductory warm-up exercise exploring connections with the space, and between each other, each made some drawings of that experience. As anticipated, these drawings reflect participants different training and experiences. A closer look at these drawings, and discussion with the group, will follow.

We will be spending times together over the next few months exploring ways of coming to know the changes people have observed in Antarctic landscape. My task is to stimulate, observe, record, and animate, responses people have to Antarctic landscape change. I anticipate that through some sustained experiences in improvised movement and drawing, layers of meaning can be found in the ice, as personal connections are made with Antarctica. I can already see that we have much to learn from each other.