IMAGINE ANTARCTICA: A Conversation With The End Of The World

IMAGINE ANTARCTICA: A Conversation With The End Of The World

IMAGINE ANTARCTICA is a photo essay created in 2002 by Grace, who was the youngest artist sponsored to visit the Antarctic region, after winning the Wallara Travelling Scholarship at Melbourne University. During her 10-day maiden voyage to "the ends of earth", Grace, who had experienced severe depression as a teenager, dreamed of having a conversation with the end of the world, to discover a reason to want to live.

After miraculously winning the Wallara Traveling Scholarship as a graduate at the Victorian College Of The Arts for her work 'silence', Grace's dream came true and the creation of the IMAGINE ANTARCTICA Collection was birthed during her maiden voyage to the region. Following the trip, Grace discovered a way— through consciousness — to heal her own depression without drugs or therapy.

Hallway Of Harmonic Tones, Liberté Grace, 2003, 35 mm Photograph  

Each image represents the visual and spiritual conversation Grace had with herself about the nature of creation and reality. In realising that she, as an observer, was the creator of her reality, and not the victim of it; she returned from the trip with a renewed sense of excitement to discover how to live as a conscious creator.

Today, the icebergs depicted within her essay no longer exist. They document a miraculous change in consciousness within herself, which captured a collection of deftly poetic and intimate images.

In the past two decades, Antarctica has been experiencing alarming changes due to global warming. Rising temperatures have led to the accelerated melting of icebergs, with concerning consequences for the continent's ecosystem, climate, and the rest of the world.

Norse Chariot, Liberté Grace, 2003, 35 mm Photograph  

Antarctica is home to the largest ice sheets on the planet, which hold about 90% of the world's fresh water. These ice sheets, formed over millions of years, are now rapidly melting at an unprecedented rate. According to a study published in the journal Nature in 2018, Antarctica lost about 2,720 billion metric tons of ice between 1992 and 2017, resulting in a threefold increase in the continent's contribution to global sea level rise.

One of the most visible effects of global warming in Antarctica is the disintegration of massive icebergs from the continent's ice shelves. In recent years, there have been several instances of massive icebergs breaking away from Antarctica, including the infamous iceberg A-68, which broke off from the Larsen C ice shelf in 2017. This iceberg was estimated to be about 5,800 square kilometres in size, equivalent to the size of the U.S. state of Delaware. These disintegrating icebergs are not only a stunning visual representation of the impact of global warming, but they also have serious consequences for the environment.

Eden's Promise, Liberté Grace, 2003, 35 mm Photograph  

Icebergs are a critical habitat for many species of marine life, including krill, which is a key food source for whales, seals, and penguins. As icebergs break apart, they release a massive amount of freshwater into the surrounding ocean, which disrupts the delicate balance of salinity and temperature, affecting the marine ecosystems. This can result in changes to the distribution and abundance of marine species, leading to potential declines in populations and impacts on the food web.

The melting of icebergs in Antarctica also contributes to the rising sea levels, which pose a significant threat to coastal communities around the world. As icebergs melt and add freshwater to the ocean, it increases the overall volume of water, leading to rises in sea level. 

I Am Presence, Liberté Grace, 2003, 35 mm Photograph  

IMAGINE ANTARCTICA, 21 years later, has become a personal time-capsule, demonstrating the effects of environmental change over the last 21 years. Each image captures towering ancient icebergs, now extinct, which can never been seen or captured again.

Each work from the collection is a piece of natural history — a celebration of the beauty, life and the miraculous nature of consciousness, sculpted into magnificent forms by mother nature, beyond the human imagination.

View the Catalog and Collection. Limited Edition Images (44 available only per size/paper type) are also available online for desktop viewing.

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