Cape Farewell - art and climate change

16 September 2006 - 26 November 2006

This exhibition has now finished

Created by artist David Buckland, Cape Farewell has taken artists, scientists and educators on a series of expeditions to the High Arctic to collectively address and raise awareness about climate change. Aboard the schooner Nooderlicht, they voyaged through the seas that hold the key to understanding changes in our weather patterns and climate, 79 degrees north to the Svalbard archipelago.

Cape Farewell - Art and Climate Change brought together commissioned work from the artists, inspired by their journeys to the Arctic. The exhibition was created in partnership with the Natural History Museum in London, where it was shown from June September 2006. It was specially recreated for its multi-site installation for the Liverpool Biennial, in partnership with National Museums Liverpool and Liverpool School of Art and Design, Liverpool John Moores University.

The Liverpool showing of this exhibition featured the artists Heather Ackroyd & Dan Harvey, David Buckland, Peter Clegg, Siobhan Davies, Gautier Deblonde, Max Eastley, Nick Edwards, Antony Gormley, Alex Hartley, Gary Hume, Ian McEwan, Michèle Noach and Rachel Whiteread.

'Fata Morgana', 'Ultima Thule' and '80°05’N 16°44’E', Nick Edwards

Night image of the arctic sea, the tips of four icebergs of various sizes appear to be visible on the horizon

Digital composition on high definition screen (2006)

The fiction and fact of the Arctic landscape is explored in these digitally created films.

'Fata Morgana' depicts the optical illusion in which islands, icebergs or ships appear elongated and elevated above the horizon like fairy tale castles. Fata Morganas are caused by different temperatures in the layers of air that form over Arctic seas on very still mornings.

The co-ordinates 80º 05’ north 16º 44’ east correspond to the furthest point north the Cape Farewell expeditions reached.

The ancient Greeks first described the land of Ultima Thule in the fourth century BC, and believed it to be the outermost of all countries. Historians have long disputed where Thule would have been.

'Hermaphrodite Polar Bear' , Gary Hume

Illustration of a polar bear

The glossy candy-sweet colours of this painting have a comic edge, but its real message is to expose the tragic fate of polar bears in the Arctic region.

The bears are being polluted by toxic waste. Chemicals used to reduce the flammability of household furnishings drift in from Europe and North America through wind and ocean currents.

The waste builds up in the tissues of polar bears, causing severe hormonal disruptions in adults. As a result, more and more young are born with genital deformities. These deformities can make it impossible for them to reproduce.


Various logos

Thanks to:

All the artists involved in the Cape Farewell project:

Heather Ackroyd, Kathy Barber, David Buckland, Peter Clegg, Siobhan Davies, Gautier Deblonde, Max Eastley, Nick Edwards, Gretel Ehrlich, Antony Gormley, Alex Hartley, Dan Harvey, David Hinton, Gary Hume, Ian McEwan, Michèle Noach, Suba Subramaniam, Rachel Whiteread.

The Noorderlicht crew, all those who have been on the Cape Farewell expeditions, and the Cape Farewell Board of Trustees.

Cape Farewell Basecamp:

David Buckland, Sam Collins, Karen Fardell, Emma Gladstone, Greg Hilty - plusequals agency,  Anita Ingram, Alexandra Lambert, Vicki Lewis, Vicky Long, Sarah Macnee, Siôn Parkinson, Janette Scott.

Colin Fallows at the Liverpool School of Art and Design, Liverpool John Moores University.

Natural History Museum: Bob Bloomfield, Bergit Arends, Jacqui Staerck and the Exhibition Project Team.