Antarctica: Photographs by Diane Tuft comes to Bruce Museum

Snow Folds, Scott Base Pressure Ridges will be part of the photography display. Diane Tuft

Snow Folds, Scott Base Pressure Ridges will be part of the photography display. Diane Tuft

The Bruce Museum travels to the southern end of the world for the new exhibition Antarctica: Photographs by Diane Tuft from Oct. 28 through Feb. 1, 2015.

This show, underwritten by Gabelli Funds and the Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund, features large-format photographs, many more than three feet wide, by Diane Tuft, a New York-based mixed-media artist and photographer, and selected from her new book Gondwana: Images of an Ancient Land. The exhibition will also include a selection of invertebrate specimens on loan from Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History, representing some of the amazing life forms recently found in the Antarctic waters. In 2012, Ms. Tuft traveled to Antarctica after receiving a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. Initially she intended capture the effect of infrared and ultraviolet light caused by the ozone depletion over Antarctica, but soon expanded her focus. Two images on view represent her exploration of “invisible light” in photographs that reveal landscapes unseen to the human eye.

All her images chronicle the extraordinary results of the expedition with stunning photographs that capture Antarctica’s raw, untouched splendor with colors, textures, and compositions that verge on the surreal. Surrounded by research scientists on her trip, Ms. Tuft felt compelled “to understand the science behind the reality” in her photographs and question “what caused these new images to appear so magical.”

“I realized that my images would capture much more than ‘invisible light.’ I saw a landscape formed by unusual weather patterns that existed only on this continent,” she wrote. “Perhaps even more than the surreal beauty of the place, I was struck by the idea that I was standing on landscape that was millions of years old.”

The selected images are highlights of Ms. Tuft’s 2014 book Gondwana: Images of an Ancient Land, named for the megacontinent that once contained what is now Antarctica, and present her vision of the continent as a living abstract reflection of hundreds of millions of years of Earth’s history.

“These powerful images highlight the Bruce Museum’s forte of bridging art and science, and give us a wonderful platform for discussing global issues related to Antarctica,” said Cynthia Ehlinger, curator of the exhibition. “Diane’s artistic eye is driven in part by a concern for the environment and critical global issues including ozone depletion and climate change.”

The Bruce Museum will host three science lectures by researchers active in the Antarctic on Oct. 28, Nov. 18, and Dec. 9. The Bruce will also host a panel discussion on Jan. 11, 2015 featuring artists, including Ms. Tuft, and scientists who have been part of Antarctic expeditions, and a Penguin Awareness Day lecture on Jan. 20 by the museum’s curator of science and penguin expert Daniel Ksepka.

In addition, the museum’s [email protected] will present a special panel discussion on explorers open exclusively to teens but live-streamed to all on the web on Oct. 26.

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