621 Gallery Presents:
Micro, Macro and In-between
an exhibition by Allyson Comstock
In 2013, I spent 6 weeks living and making art in Antarctica through a National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists and Writers Grant. The drawing series, Antarctica: Micro, Macro and In-between, developed from my time spent making art along side scientists conducting Antarctic research.
The drawings raise questions about how we view and understand the larger natural world and in particular Antarctica. Multiple perceptions of the Antarctic environment are presented using a triptych format to create an enlarged understanding of Antarctica as a place where significant climate change research is underway.
In one panel a macro view of the Antarctica landscape presents an average person’s view of the natural world – a panoramic view of the landscape wherein its grandeur is experienced. A second panel presents a microscopic view of the natural world – a view typically seen only by scientists engaged in climate change research. As such, this view presents Antarctica at its deepest level. The third panel joins the macro and micro views. It is an “in-between” view of the landscape because features of the micro and macro views are layered onto this central image to create a combined view of the Antarctic environment.
As this visual narrative is experienced, the importance of perceptions relative to what one knows, understands and values in nature is discovered. The familiar broad landscape view and the scientists’ microscopic view are brought together by the artist’s view to create an understanding the relational nature of the two and to highlight the importance of climate change research taking place in Antarctica.