Picturing Polar Bears: Art, Creativity, Climate Change
The polar bear has long been symbolic of the North. In recent years it has also become iconographic of human-accelerated climate change and global warming and the associated devastation upon the Arctic’s fragile ecosystem. The archetypal function and diverse “ways of seeing” the polar bear throughout time and across cultures lies at the heart of this project.
How have polar bears been pictured, imagined, and described in the past and how are they depicted today? What can these manifestations reveal about our changing attitudes and relationships with the natural world, particularly in a time of widespread habitat loss and concerns about climate change?
This event concentrates on the usages of the polar bear as a symbol of climate change and habitat loss and questions if the bear is a suitable icon. It specifically engages with the use of the polar bear within the visual arts – showcasing the work of American fine artist Diane Fiedler – and finding fresh ways to communicate anthropogenic climate change to wider audiences.
What this activity ultimately explores is the potential role of art, creativity, and environmental humanities in conversations about climate change.
This exhibition is part of the Sustainable Solutions Showcase – a COP26 Exhibition from the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Sustainable Solutions.
Part of the COP26 activities at the College of Social Sciences, University of Glasgow