2019 25.5 x 31.5” 65 x 80 cm Acrylic on Canvas
This Polar Bear and Penguin painting is inspired by my concern around Climate Change. Having the world map art depicted as a large spinning planet, which is the only thing that separates the predator from the prey, adds an appropriate element of risk, that mirrors what we are doing with our own wonderful planet. Global warming is happening more rapidly at the poles, than it is in the temperate or equatorial regions.
The Polar Bear and the Penguin, are the poster animals for the North and South Poles. These are areas of extreme cold. While at first glance a bit of warming might seem like a good thing, the plants and animals of the extreme north and south have evolved to thrive in these harsh environments. A warming of their habitat will causes complications with the environments they have adapted to, for raising their young and for obtaining food. The northern polar bears who primarily feed on marine mammals at breathing holes in the ice, are finding the sea ice greatly reduced, and in some cases simply not there, making it more difficult for them to find seals. The breeding grounds for the penguins depend on nutrient rich ocean currents, to bring them fish to eat. As the ocean warms these currents are altering, and the penguins are having to swim further to obtain fish for themselves and their young. Also as temperatures warm, plants and animals from more temperate regions will begin moving poleward into areas that were not previously accessible to them, and endanger the plants and animals that are best suited to the extreme cold.
Even housing for people living in the far north is under threat as the Climate warms. Many homes and public buildings do not have basements, but are designed to sit on permafrost. Permafrost is permanently frozen hard stable ground. As the temperature warms, the permafrost is beginning to melt in some places, and houses and public buildings are shifting as the once rock solid permafrost beneath them, is beginning to melt and soften in some locations during the summer months.