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About Soft Ice

Ellen Karin Mæhlum

The Arctic climate changes rapidly, with rising temperatures and melting ice. This will affect both ecosystems and communities in the north. Since 2001 I have visited Svalbard regularly and observed how the glaciers have retreated. In 2017 I traveled to Northwest Greenland. The purpose was to do research for new graphics exhibitions. 


80% of Greenland is covered with ice. Due to higher air temperatures, the ice sheet melts increasingly quickly. South of the city of Ilulissat lies the 40-50 km long Ilulissat Icefjord. This is a truly unique and magnificent natural area that was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2004. This is the site of the most productive glacier of the Northern hemisphere - Sermeq Kujalleq, which calves millions of tons of ice every day. A fast flowing ice stream that filing a fjord with giant icebergs makes for a dramatic and awe-inspiring natural phenomenon. 


I was overwhelmed by the power and fragility of this scenic area.The landscape changes continuously due to currents, melting ice and light conditions. The exhibition SOFT ICE is a result of my stay in Greenland and Svalbard. Both the ice and the colorful settlements became the theme of my work. My intention is to show fragments and glimpses of this changing landscape. At the same time, I hope they encourage reflection on the fact that melting ice causes rising sea levels - one of the big challenges we face globally.

See the series SOFT ICE and ICECAPES.

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