JARRAD MARTYN (VIC) - Mirounga 2
|oil on board
|28 x 23cm
Mirounga 2 is part of an ongoing series that explores humanity's relationship with the natural environment through the intersection of family and world histories. The inspiration for this body of work was a series of 35mm photographs the artist’s father took whilst working at Casey Station in Antarctica during the 1980s. The landscapes have significantly changed since the photos were taken, with Antarctica experiencing some of the most rapid climate warming on Earth. Once-stable ice shelves have long melted, numbers and habitats of bird and marine species have starkly declined, and the human footprint in the region has increased. In the past, the photographs were personal memories of a far-off landscape, but now seem foreboding and premonitory. Mirounga 2 collages a colony of Elephant Seals with distortions and imperfections inspired by analogue photography. Combined with a painting language of dripping, blurring, and textural contrast through the figure-ground relationship, an atmosphere of precariousness is created. The figuration appears fractured through high-chroma construction orange, reflecting on how meaning and understanding of imagery can evolve over time.