Unlike wildfires and flooding, glaciers are not part of the weather system and when looking at glacier mass loss over time, one can see the result of global heating. This makes glaciers key indicators of the climate crisis. Since 2008 the climate change charity Project Pressure has been commissioning world-renowned artists to conduct expeditions to document changes to the world’s vanishing glaciers, the consequences for billions of people, and efforts made to limit melting.
These works are bought together as MELTDOWN and can be seen on display at the Horniman from 23 November 2019 to 12 January 2020.
The exhibition emphasises the importance of glaciers in a scientific, illustrative and dramatic way. Works featured range in scale from the planetary level to microscopic biological impact, with artistic interpretations giving visitors unique insights into the world’s cryosphere, its fragile ecosystem and our changing global climate.
MELTDOWN features work from every relevant continent and leads the viewer on a journey in three chapters – The Importance of Glaciers, Current Issues and Meltdown Consequences. The show is created to inspire as well as activate visitors, and to incite real behavioural change.
The series of striking artworks includes artist Peter Funch’s use of vintage postcards as a model for his images of American glaciers to capture the effects of glacial recession; Norfolk + Thymann’s image of part of the Rhône glacier covered in geo-thermal cloth to limit melting; Richard Mosse’s photograph of the ice cave under the Vatnajökull glacier in Iceland; and Noémie Goudal’s large-scale photographic installation mirroring the shifting glacial landscape, printed on biodegradable paper.
We are honoured to host the UK premiere of this important exhibition. The Horniman has long been concerned with environmental issues and the impact of human activity on our world and in July 2019 we declared an ecological and climate emergency, pledging to place carbon reduction and environmental issues at the heart of our work. As the only museum in London that combines the human and the natural world we are constantly looking to engage and inform our audiences about the environmental issues that affect us all. We hope that through this superb series of powerful and thought-provoking art works visitors will be reminded of the beauty and vulnerability of our planet and be empowered to take action to protect its future.
MELTDOWN forms part of a wider programme at the Horniman to increase sustainability, improve awareness of environmental issues and encourage everyone to reduce their environmental impact. Further information, including a Green Visitor guide, can be found at horniman.ac.uk
MELTDOWN can be seen at the Horniman from 23 November 2019 to 12 January 2020.
Entry to the Horniman and to see MELTDOWN is free.