It’s been a long, difficult winter. Frigid and unrelenting. Bitter cold in a way that feels almost violating, seeping under my clothes and into my skin, settling in my bones and turning those elegant calcified shapes into fragile pieces of ice, ready to shatter at a moments notice.
To be clear, I’m not a fan of winter.
But I am very much in love with Zaria Forman’s series of drawings, “Greenland: Chasing the Ice.” In August 2012, she lead an arctic expedition for the purposes of capturing the icy landscape in art. Inspired by her mother’s desire to head north, Zaria struck out on history’s second trip with this goal (the first was in 1869, led by the American painter William Bradford). Tragically, though Zaria’s mother was instrumental in planning the expedition, she didn’t live to see it through. “Documenting climate change, the work addresses the concept of saying goodbye on scales both global and personal,” Zaria writes. “In Greenland, I scattered my mother’s ashes amidst the melting ice.”
Whoa, right? It’s big, heavy, sad, lovely work. And the drawings, as you might have noticed, are stunning. Zaria also traveled to Svalbard (a peninsula at the northern tip of Sweden) and produced many drawings based on that experience. Her work is amazing. Delicate, detailed, but so, so cold. It makes me shiver to look at it.