Exhibition inspired by climate change research opens in Sheffield

  • An art exhibition inspired by the research of ice scientists from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Geography opens in Sheffield (1-8 March 2018).
  • Leverhulme Trust artist in residence, Naomi Hart’s exhibition is inspired by Sheffield scientists’ research of glaciers, fossil fuels and climate change in Svalbard, Norway.

Global Warming Exhibition

Research by ice scientists from the University of Sheffield is the inspiration for an art exhibition in the city to highlight their research of glaciers and the consequences of the carbon cycle and climate change.

The research, led by the University of Sheffield’s Department of Geography, included fieldwork carried out in Svalbard – an archipelago in the High Arctic – by Professor Andy Hodson, the Polar and Alpine Change masters’ students and the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS). The team spent a month studying the impacts of global warming on glacier ice and its implications.

Professor Andy Hodson said: “This research examines the broader implications of enhanced melting and ground thaw in the polar regions. Melting of polar snow and glacier ice initiates a cascade of water, nutrients and sediment that embarks upon an eventful journey on its way to the sea. I follow this journey to help document the full complexity of how warming influences and the ecosystems it supports.”

Inspired by the research of the ice scientists, Ice Report is an exhibition of art created by Leverhulme Trust artist in residence, Naomi Hart.

Professor Hodson said: “Unlike Antarctica, lots of people live and work in the Arctic, making art a well-established cultural tool for informing us of its fragility and the important changes that we are causing there. In order to understand these changes, we need to disentangle the effects of over a century of natural resource exploitation from global climate change. The fact Naomi incorporated both of these drivers of Arctic change into her work was very important from my perspective. Her exhibition is well-placed to help portray the Arctic as it really is, and from a valuable, culturally-relevant artist's perspective.”

Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, Naomi Hart has been embedded in the Department of Geography since June 2017 as their artist in residence, looking at the research carried out by the ice scientists as well as spending a month with Professor Hodson in Svalbard. The exhibition looks at ice, carbon, coal and methane and the consequences of the carbon cycle and climate change.

Artwork in the exhibition features coal dust and glacier water to show the role of carbon in climate change and the cyclical nature of carbon as an element in life.

Naomi said: “It's been a fantastic experience being in the Department of Geography for nearly a year. It's a real insight into a different life - seeing how scientists do their research in the Arctic, but also all the laboratory work and writing and collaboration that goes on. Some of it is not so different from the way artists work, and I really think we have more in common than we usually think. There should be far more crossover between arts and science, they are fundamental to finding out about the world around us.”

The exhibition will run from 1-8 March at the Portland Works, Randall Street, Sheffield, S2 4SJ from 11am-4pm. Entry is free.

Rated ‘excellent’ in the latest Research Excellence Framework, the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield has an internationally-recognised record of academic research by staff, with wide-ranging interests in both human and physical geography. Geography at Sheffield is ranked within the top 15 UK departments, with research recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.

The Department of Geography is one of the largest departments in the country in terms of undergraduate numbers, and places on courses are amongst the most-sought-after in the UK.

Read more about Naomi Hart

Additional Information

The University of Sheffield

With almost 29,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2017 and was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education in 2014. In the last decade it has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

The Leverhulme Trust

Est. 1925 The Leverhulme Trust provide grants and scholarships for research and education; today, we are one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK, distributing approximately £80m a year.

We award funding across academic disciplines, supporting talented individuals in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences to realise their personal vision in research and professional training. As well as substantial grants for research, we offer fellowships for researchers at every stage of their career, grants for international collaboration and travel, and support for the fine and performing arts.


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Emily Taysom
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0114 222 3677