Art / Design, England

High Arctic UVA

As we stepped from the crisp, bright extension of Greenwich’s National Maritime Museum into the darkness, we were handed an ultra-violet torch each and told to ‘go and explore’…

United Visual Artists’ Matt Clark (who we were lucky enough to meet in Tokyo) created this installation in response to his experiences during a 2010 expedition to the Arctic with the arts and climate-science foundation. This interactive and immersive installation is an abstract yet truly moving way of telling very real stories of the effects of climate change.

The abstracted towers, representing actual melting ice-caps, each displayed a name only revealed with light from your torch – while the glaciers will soon melt, the unseen names remain forever. The torches also caused light and graphics to reveal and move as you passed through the space. Floating squares of light cracked under UV torch-light splitting and melting with layered sounds of creaking ice, and the voices of explorers filling the room.

While the interactive ‘games’ were immensely enjoyable, serious messages rested just underneath the surface. With minimal ‘real’ information, this exhibition was probably the most emotionally powerful I have ever seen. Another incredible project by United Visual Artists

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