In late 2019, early 2020 Louise Grayson joined an expedition to the Antarctica where she captured images that explore the natural dance between animals and their environment, as the shadow of human intervention, and a warming environment, begin to stretch across this ice wonderland.
Wide landscapes juxtapose the enormity of the icy mountains to the busy wildlife dashing about below. It is one of the final places on earth where humans are ordered to give way along marching penguin highways.
Seals are captured slumbering happily in the midst of various species of birds - a different type of cultural juxtapositions for Grayson’s style of work.
Rather than the similarities of humans coexisting in cities across the world, here she bears witness to different species meandering pleasantly.
The absolute wonder of being able to feely stroll within the realm of wild natives without the inevitable concern of being hurt by intruding humans is brought out in images showing curious seals staring into the camera lens, and hundreds of penguins glibly ignoring the apparatus being focussed on their world.
In this time of global warming, light smacks against the crispness of snow that is melting away to reveal craters and jutting corners from beneath.
Birds flap above heat radiating from volcanoes still bubbling beneath the surface, as is the constant threat of human intervention.
The Antarctic treaty demands humans co-exist in a manner reminiscent of the various species of animals witnessed in this body of work.
ICE COHABITATION asks the question, can this ice environment, with its multitude of species, survive in the augmented race by the humans for control of nature’s final frontier?
This was the first time in this unfamiliar territory for Louise but threads are woven throughout the works that harp back to previous work.
She has spent much of her career exploring cultural juxtapositions across continents.
Antarctica is simply another where interactions are constant – animal species finding ways to live their daily lives in harmony within an environment battling melting ice bergs, rising sea levels and the impending invasion of more and more humans from all the other continents.
Coming from exploring the growth in battlefield tourism in her recent World War I Centenary project, Louise watched in alarm as here too, tourism is fast invading via hundreds of cruise ships daily.