I'm reading
Three truths about climate change
Pass it on
Pass it on
I'm reading
Three truths about climate change
Pass it on
Pass it on
I'm reading
Three truths about climate change
Pass it on
Pass it on
5 December 2018

Three truths about climate change

Artist Jasmine Targett shares three of her incredible artworks with us—each a response to our changing environmental patterns—and the truths they each reveal.

Written by Jasmine Targett

Behind extraordinary ideas, there are extraordinary people. Dumbo Feather is a magazine about these people.

Discussed in this Story

As Above, So Below: 2016, Aluminum, L860 H860mm. http://jasminetargett.com/portfolio/as-above-so-below/

Part 1: The Eye

I know the weather is changing, I can sense it but I cannot see it. My eyes don’t know what to look for but my intuition guides me to scan the sky. Instead of charting constellations or spying visitors from other worlds I find myself searching for signs of climate change.

There at the edge of my vision at civil twilight, when the Sun is between one and six degrees below the horizon, I can see clouds that shine when they shouldn’t. They are familiar and foreign, enticing in their iridescent luminosity but instinctively I know their presence is telling me something I am only just beginning to understand.

Nacreous clouds are implicated in the formation of Ozone holes and have been spotted over Antarctica, America, Tibet, the United Kingdom, Australia and Earth’s winter polar regions. As an artist my response is to make this hidden truth visible: this cloud formation’s appetite grows from continued anthropogenic pollution.

It is my hope that if we can see a hazard on the horizon, then we have the chance to chart a different course. As Above, So Below brings the ozone eating Nacreous “mother of pearl cloud” into focus, highlighting the orb of its lasting environmental impact.

Blind Spot: 2014, Perspex with Steel Mirror, Perspex – L 1200 W 1700 H 2200mm, Mirror – 1200mm diameter, Installation at Linden Centre for Contemporary Art. http://jasminetargett.com/portfolio/blind-spot/

Part 2: The Blind Spot

“In every observation there is a blind spot, the spot on the retina where the optical nerve is connected, making the eye blind on that very spot. All one can do is try to move these blind spots, in an effort to catch a glimpse of the invisible.”—Krogh Jensen

Let’s play a game. Take a moment and look around you. Observe your surroundings. Your body maps the surface it sits on and the distance to the objects around you. Consider what is missing from your initial surveillance. The space between things. The atmosphere, air, ozone, oxygen, molecules and atoms, all of the invisible that sustains life. Precious and priceless, without it in seconds we cease to exist. The invisible is just as significant as the visible. They form two sides of a coin, one without the other becomes valueless.

I wanted to make an artwork that started a conversation about the blind spots in self-awareness surrounding existence. In an effort to explore how the human psyche maps itself in relation to nature, I started to look for things that exist because of human intervention and the anthropocene. If the world was an eye then the blind spot would be the ozone hole. And the ironic thing that I have found is that the ozone hole looks like an iceberg.

A landmark of the anthropocene that cannot be found on any atlas or world map, the ozone hole’s appearance in our atmosphere every spring is a haunting reminder of how close we come to pushing our environment beyond the point of regeneration. The forecast for tomorrow’s weather is reliant on our ability to co-create with nature today.

Future Self: 2018, Glass Crystal, Dichroic Lens, Installation size – L500mm W500mm H80mm, Glass – L280mm W220mm H80mm. http://jasminetargett.com/portfolio/future-self/

Part 3: Future Self

As beings, we have the ability to know the past and anticipate the future. Future Self embodies a conversation between my present self and future self, imagining one of the many possibilities that may eventuate as nature begins to respond to the anthropocene. There is a strange co-mingling between decomposing non-recyclable consumer products and quartz crystals—their organic growth counterpart—to be addressed.

Somewhere between dystopia and wonder, Future Self is a collapsing monument to self-awareness. Icy crystals engulf the binoculars they dissolve into the highly reflective lens on which they sit. A mirror doubling of the image is a dual metaphor that subconsciously evokes a fork in the road, alternate pathways, different options. It also references an iceberg; the dark wonder only being seen when the totality of what lies beneath the surface is made visible.

Like a ship treading icy and dark waters, the human psyche can only begin to navigate a pathway through climate change by accepting the challenge required to find new ways to work within planetary limits.

So, dear one, in conclusion, here are the three truths I can offer:

– Ozone eating clouds now exist and they feed on anthropogenic pollution.

– The hole in Earth’s ozone looks like an iceberg. It is an unseen landmark in our atmosphere, reminding us that in order to sustain life we have to value nature’s limits.

– Climate change is caused by a psychological flaw in the way we understand the relationship between existence and ourselves. This plays out in our ability or inability to co-create with nature.

Jasmine Targett

As a techno romanticist, Jasmine’s work highlights anthropocentrism and its impact on the environment. Internationally exhibited, her work has been awarded both the LaTrobe Regional Gallery Acquisitive Art Prize and Senini Prize from McClelland Gallery in Australia. Jasmine’s research has been recognised and supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and City of Melbourne. Her work will soon be presented by the United Nations for the 2019 Global Climate Bulletin.

I want more things that inspire me to...

Dumbo Feather Newsletter

Let’s be friends. We'll tell you all the good stuff.