Friday, May 11, 2012

Ice Worlds

Sometimes images just won’t leave you alone. This was the case with the artwork I created for next year’s WIPS symposium on Ice Worlds and Their Fossils. We live during an interglacial period in Earth’s history, but we still have ice at the poles—a relatively rare event for much of Earth’s past. The Pleistocene ice ages forged human beings out of primates stressed by relatively rapid shifts in climate. Likewise, ice carved evolutionary changes in the Paleozoic, ultimately destroying the equatorial lycopod/fern/pteridosperm forests that now form our modern black energy reservoirs of coal and gas. I felt that snow among the alien plants of this era helped emphasize the impersonal forces of climate that have shaped the bodies and brains of not only us, but our distant forbears as well. We are built with elements cooked in the bowels of stars, but chiseled by shards of ice and the chill winds of time.

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