In 2006/07 Anne Brodie was awarded an Antarctic international fellowship sponsored by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). She spent nearly three months living and working in the Antarctic at the BAS base in Rothera, and re-fuelling depot Sky Blue. During her time there, she became aware of the extraordinary human/environmental interface which has come to inform all of her work, and continues to be a source of creative investigation with scientists at BAS and the University of Surrey.
The Antarctic ice sheet is the largest single mass of ice on Earth. It covers an area of almost 14 million km2 and contains 30 million km3 of ice. Around 90% of the fresh water on the Earth's surface is held in the ice sheet. Antarctica is important to scientists because of its profound effect on the Earth's climate and ocean systems, playing a crucial role in our understanding of global climate change. Locked in its four kilometre-thick ice sheet is a unique record of what our planet's climate was like over the past one million years.
Anne Brodie’s project revolved around the dynamic and transient nature of the Antarctic environment. As an artist, she felt a freedom to explore creatively the extraordinary world around her, yet at the same time she was aware that the environment needed very little in the way of intervention, it already had its own voice; all it needed was a quiet witness.
Through the mediums of hot glass (using a glass furnace that she constructed on site), film, sound and photography, Brodie responded to the Antarctic as a dynamic, ever-moving part of a fragile balanced system. Her series of short films explore the extraordinary natural wonders, and subtle interventions, she achieved and witnessed during her residency. The exhibition also includes a series of glass jars that Brodie gave to the scientists and support staff at Rothera research station, to return filled with whatever they felt best represented their lives in Antarctica.