Lewes painter prepares for an Arctic adventure

Arctic Swell by Adele Gibson
Arctic Swell by Adele Gibson

A Sussex artist has won a place on an Arctic expedition, which aims to highlight how human activity has influenced changes to the climate and environment.

Adele Gibson, 59, was awarded an MA in fine art at the University of Brighton earlier this year and took up the challenge “to witness these changes first-hand”.

Adele Gibson

Adele Gibson

She said: “I am a visual artist with a background in science and more latterly, landscape oil painting. I am approaching the end of my sixth decade and wanted to step outside the comforts of my daily life, face new challenges and do something meaningful.”

Adele has been awarded a place on an international artist and scientist expedition to Svalbard, Norway, in the High Arctic in June with the organisation The Arctic Circle.

This is an annual expeditionary residency programme bringing together artists, scientists, architects and educators to explore remote destinations aboard a specially outfitted Barquentine sailing vessel.

Quite a challenge for someone who suffers from sea-sickness and the cold: “I plan to mitigate the cold with good Arctic clothing and I hope to remedy any sea-sickness with acupuncture – I have a friend who is going to teach me how to administer acupuncture myself.”

Adele, who lives and paints in Lewes, said she was delighted to have been selected for the trip: “It was during my research at the university that I became aware of the impact that we are having on our natural world: the changes in the Arctic are being experienced more rapidly than anywhere else in the world.

“I have visited Iceland twice and have a strong emotional response to the sublime icy and glaciated landscape there and this inspires my paintings.

“My residency in Svalbard will allow me to spend a longer period of uninterrupted time in the Arctic region and will also enable me to make contact and collaborate with artists and scientists who are researching similar themes.

“The project is important to me in terms of allowing me to visit a remote and very special environment and I hope to use the experience to make work that communicates the unique beauty and fragility of the Arctic region.

“In the current political environment it is more important than ever before that we recognise the facts of what is happening on our planet.”

Adele has found half the £6,000 cost of the trip through the sale of her art and is crowdfunding the remainder for “flights, woolly socks, underwear and mineral watercolour pigments and other art materials”.

Visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/adele-gibson-arctic-circle-residency-art.

For more information on Adele, go to www.adelegibson.co.uk.

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