2015 Review

Glacier du Baounet, France, 2015 by Scott Conarroe

Glacier du Baounet, France, 2015 by Scott Conarroe

Looking back over 2015 we are proud to have successfully completed expeditions to New Zealand, Greenland and USA. Support came in kind from our generous sponsors Rab and Hasselblad, alongside new contributions from Orgreen Optics and Casio. Follow us on Instagram as we review Peter Funch’s expedition to Mount Rainier in Washington, USA.
This year looks set to be a great one; with new contributions from some amazing artists. Including Scott Conarroe, who will continue his documentation of glaciers across the European Alps. We are also aiming to develop the MELT platform that will host the archive, currently running as a beta version.


Expedition: Mt Rainier

Artist Peter Funch photographingEmmons glacier on Mt. Rainier from the Burroughs Mountain Ridge.

Artist Peter Funch photographing Emmons glacier on Mt. Rainier from the Burroughs Mountain Ridge.

Acclaimed photographer Peter Funch has recently returned from his second Project Pressure expedition to the Cascade Mountain Range. In 2014 Funch and his team travelled to Mount Baker to replicate archival postcards of the mountain’s most famous vistas. On their return to the national park they turned their attention to Mount Rainier, drawing on the rich sightseeing history of Washington’s highest peak.
They started their journey near Nisqually Glacier travelling towards Camp Miur. Here they were able to draw comparisons from the archival postcards, including from the edge of the Nisqually Glacier valley. The team hiked across the Burroughs Mountain Ridge, then continued their journey across the national park at Tolmie Peak near Eunice Lake.
Follow the journey on Instagram and Twitter as we share behind the scenes images from this interesting journey.


Expedition to Greenland

Klaus Thymann

Artists Mariele Neudecker and Klaus Thymann have recently returned from a collaborative project to detail the glaciers surrounding Narsarsuaq in Southwest Greenland. This area was chosen due to the dramatic examples it provides of tidewater glaciers, where the ice meets the ocean, thereby allowing the team to document the impressive scenery through photography and video.
It is also a disconcerting example of the devastating affects climate change can have; the Greenland ice sheet has been losing mass since, at least, the early 1990s , at rates that seem to be progressively increasing. (Rignot and Kanagaratnam, 2006; Thomas and others, 2006; Velicogna and Wahr, 2006)
The team arrived in Narsarsuaq, from where they travelled by boat around the peninsula into Qoroq bay to document the ice fjords of Mellemlandet. There was a thin layer of ice on the water’s surface; as it approaches winter sea-ice-minimum has been reached and the artic ice starts increasing. The inlet of the fjords is also extremely hazardous as it is pitted with icebergs of all shapes and sizes.
From the water they studied Qorqup glacier, this area has been considerably well monitored over the last two decades; research has shown significant retreat from Qorqup, as well as growing ice rifts causing the glacier to thin.
The expedition continued as the fog, rain and wind swept in and the artists started on a six-hour trek to Kiagtut glacier. Each of the group maintained communication with whistles as visibility got down to approximately 5 meters. Using compasses and GPS systems were the only way to guarantee moving in the correct direction.
After camping over night the artists continued via helicopter to Eqalorutsit glacier west of Narsarsuaq – staying near viewpoints that enabled spectacular views of the glacier terminus both during the day and at night. The glacier runs through Sermilik Fjord carving a valley that allows for beautiful panoramic views of the ice and water juxtaposed by the baron Greenlandic landscape.
After spending some days observing the glacier the team returned to Narsarsuaq. Although only touching on the issue of Greenland’s ice sheet recession this expedition has allowed the artists to observe some of Greenland’s impressive glacial formations that will be interpreted as unique artwork to be preserved as part of Project Pressure’s archive.
The still and moving imagery will also be added to the open source MELT platform currently in development; see the beta version here.


Narsarsuaq, Greenland 2015

Isertoq Glacier, East Greenland in 2012 by Klaus Thymann

Isertoq Glacier, East Greenland in 2012 by Klaus Thymann

Today marks the start of the Project Pressure expedition to Greenland with Mariele Neudecker and Klaus Thymann, who will collaborate on a project to detail the glaciers surrounding Narsarsuaq in Southwest Greenland. The team will stay in the field near Kiagtut glacier, before heading to Eqalorutsit glacier – camping near viewpoints that will provide extraordinary views of the glaciers.
At each location precise GPS data will be recorded. This will enable future comparisons of the same glaciers to be easily recreated and mapped digitally, allowing glacial fluctuations to be observed. It is recognised that as glaciers and ice caps melt under the strain of climate change it will have disastrous effects on the oceans, thus the importance of monitoring tidewater glaciers such as the ones on this trip.
This expedition has been made possible with a grant from The Lighthouse Foundation.


Project Pressure on Maptia

A young shepherd watches his sheep on the foothills of Mount Damavand.

A young shepherd watches his sheep on the foothills of Mount Damavand.

Northern Iran plays host to some of the most remote and unexpected glaciers in the world. On one of Project Pressure’s most intrepid expeditions to date, we took a journey deep into the arid mountains of Iran to document the vital glaciers of this beautiful yet forbidding land, before it is too late. Read about it on Maptia and see more images.


Greenland 2015

Jakobshavn in Greenland, taken in 2010 on the previous Project Pressure expedition.

Jakobshavn, Greenland, taken in 2010 on the previous Project Pressure expedition.

The expedition to South Greenland is set for September this year. We will be sending off charity director Klaus Thymann and UK based artist Mariele Neudecker to document the glaciers surrounding Narsarsuaq. If you have any archival imagery of this area do not hesitate to get in touch. For up to date news and developments sign up to the newsletter.


Lewis Glacier at Les Recontres d’Arles

Preparing the show. Photo courtesy of Simon Norfolk.

Photo courtesy of Simon Norfolk.

Simon Norfolk’s award winning photographs of Lewis Glacier, Mount Kenya, have been featured at one of the most prolific photography festivals, Les Recontre d’Arles, France. The series, When I am Laid In Earth, was produced in conjunction with Project Pressure and will become part of its artistic archive. It was selected by curators to feature as part of a fringe exhibition and has continued to capture the imaginations of individuals and encourage further awareness of climate change. A newspaper produced for the show, that charts the different aspects of Project Pressure and When I am Laid in Earth, is available as a free download here.


Your Chance to Visit Greenland

A shot from the Project Pressure expedition to East Greenland in 2012

An image from the Project Pressure expedition to East Greenland in 2012, by Klaus Thymann

For the first time this summer Citizen Science are offering individuals the chance to join climate biologist Astrid M Z Bonde PhD on a glacier and wildlife monitoring trip to Greenland. The journey will bridge research and tourism to motivate an interest in the artic and broaden the access of scientific observation that will in turn benefit climate change and biodiversity research.
This trip will provide the opportunity to journey across Western Greenland, from the tundras in Kangerlussuaq to the ice sheets near Disko bay. One aspect of this expedition is to gather pictures of the natural environment to input into apps and databases. This enables Citizen Science to contribute to ongoing research within the field, as well as existing projects, including Project Pressure, that will then be available for both scientists and the public to use.
So why not create your own adventure whilst contributing photographs to Project Pressure’s archive. There are still a few places available on this tour and you can read more here. Quoting Project-pressure.org at point of purchase will get you a discount of 500 DKK (£50) too!


Mariele Neudecker and Project Pressure Partnership

An installation view of There Is Always Something More Important and Recent Futures from the group show MODEL at Rudolfinum, Prague.

An installation view of There Is Always Something More Important and Recent Futures from MODEL at Rudolfinum, Prague.

Project Pressure are really excited to announce a new artistic partnership with Mariele Neudecker. Neudecker’s work continuously returns to looking at ‘landscape traditions in art, dealing simultaneously with questions around technology and science, collective experience and time.’ This year will see Neudecker travelling to the area surrounding Nuuk in Southwest Greenland, where her multidisciplinary practice will be used to capture glaciers meeting the sea in both still and moving image. Sign up to our newsletter to get regular updates on this exciting expedition.


Norfolk Announced as Winner

Lewis Glacier_MtKenya_0535
Last week Simon Norfolk’s When I am Laid in Earth was announced winner of the landscape category for Sony World Photography Award. His winning piece depicted an impression of how climate change has affected Mount Kenya’s glaciers. It is Norfolk’s first contribution to the Project Pressure archive and relied on data provided by the Project Pressure team.
When asked about receiving the award Norfolk said;
‘My second Sony – it just gets better and better. A huge thanks to Project Pressure without whom it never would have occurred to me to start thinking about climate change in general and glaciers in particular. Inspirational!’
The data and glacier outlines were sourced, in part, from peer reviewed articles published over the last 50 years. Useful maps were identified within journal articles and the authors were contacted so the relevant first and second hand information could be retrieved. Further information was drawn from the Mount Kenya glacial records held at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC); and from the Global Ice Land Measurements from Space (GLIMS) database, which provided current GPS information. Through this methodology it was possible to pinpoint historical glacier outlines onto GPS devices. This allowed Norfolk to track the previous glacial extents.
In utilising a dramatic juxtaposition alongside a simple message Norfolk produced highly potent artwork; creating a powerful tool for communicating climatic and glacial data and raising awareness regarding the impacts of climate change. When I am Laid In Earth was originally featured in The New York Times Magazine last December.
Check out our earlier posts for links to the full series and the behind the scenes video from the expedition.