I produced these images as part of journey in the Peruvian Andes with a group of climate scientists from Ohio State University Byrd Polar Research Institute. We hiked up to 14,000 feet and saw glaciers, azure green lakes, cold streams, wild flowers, and local people herding livestock and growing crops. I learned how climate change is causing the glaciers we visited to melt and why there is no longer enough snowfall to replenish them. Peruvians have historically relied on this melt water during the dry season for the needs of people and the entire ecosystem. The climate researchers are working to understand the hydrology in this ecosystem with the future goal of helping Peru adapt to the changing climate. I was inspired by what I learned while traveling with the climate researchers.

In this body of work I used a glass vessel of water as a lens to photograph through. The use of the globe form of the vessel is meant to convey a visual association with the round form of mother Earth. By using glass I conjure the notion of the fragility of the planetary ecosystem in which all living beings play a role. Using water within to encapsulate and reflect the scenes, I create a visual metaphor to express the water resource issues associated with a warming planet. There is no computer manipulation of the images beyond minor color or contrast adjustments. The high quality glass encapsulates and reflects that which is behind it with some distortions. The mode of production also references the mechanical function of the camera lens and sight; the bowl acts as a lens to reflect the image upside down.

Ivana Damien George 1999-2015
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