Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Below the surface

Colour tests for underwater iceberg

I am beginning to make a new iceberg. This one will include the 80% of the iceberg hidden below the water. It's been very difficult to find information on and images of icebergs below water, but after several months of research I finally feel ready to begin.

All the iceberg tips I have made (including the current work in progress) are based on photographs; there are so many beautiful and detailed images of iceberg tips for me to copy. However, my below-surface berg will be based on a composite sketch, pulling together all I have learned, seen and imagined, without having a single reliable image to inspire me.

The Rayleigh effect scatters sunlight so that the further from the surface, the bluer the light that shines through ice. I'm actually basing my underwater ice colours on a description of a deep crevasse in Kim Stanley Robinson's novel, Antarctica where he says

...only the very bluest light made it down here, glowing from out of the ice in an intense creamy-translucent turquoise, or actually an unnamed blue unlike any other she had seen. (...) all of it a blue that could not be described and could scarcely be apprehended, as it seemed to flood and then to overflood the eye.

KSR's novel is the origin of my Antarctic obsession, my most thumbed literary reference (though I do double check my facts in my Reader's Digest encyclopedia of Antarctica). His book can be seen as a framework for the exhibition of Antarctic pieces I will have next August, for he seamlessly brings together the sciences, the human history, the current politics, and potential futures of Antarctica. These are the same themes that I am responding to in my work, and so it is no accident that the next step of my imaginary Antarctic journey is to go below the surface, below the entrancing and accessible tip of the iceberg, to explore the unnamed, the indescribable and the scarcely apprehended.


louloulovesbooks said...

I think these may be my favourite colours, they look so so lovely here, all stitched up. Gorgeous.

Bob McKerrow said...

What a wonderful mission you are on. Icebergs are exquisite sculptures. I lived in Antarctica for 13 months at one stretch and had many trips in the Arctic and I simply'love ice bergs.' I have slept on them for days at a stretch and they move in a most decorous manner.

Best wishes


jmibrowning said...

These are beautiful Meliors. The blue and white..exquisite. You deserve a trip to Antarctica. I have put it out there to The Universe that Meliors will go to Antarctica sooner than later!! Merry Christmas.

Tim Jones said...

Hve you let KSR know how much of an inspiration his work has been for yours? I think he might be pleased to hear it!