19 July 2023
I Love You
Don’t Leave Me
Patricia Carr Morgan’s multidisciplinary
lament for a disappearing world
by Kate Mothes
Along the cascading edges of icebergs and glaciers, Patricia Carr Morgan‘s photography-based work bears witness to the fragile and quickly evolving environments of Greenland and Antarctica. In a decade-long project titled I love you don’t leave me, which comprises several series of documentary images, manipulated photographs, installations, and performance, she explores various disciplines in an act of collecting what she calls “personal essays expressing her attachment to the sublime beauty of the ice and its ultimate loss caused by climate change’s impact.”
A series simply called Ice documents the surreal shapes and thrilling range of blues that crest the vast expanses. The nuances of light, form, and changing weather illuminate remote regions that most of us hear about but never see—places that are melting at a rate unprecedented in human history. NASA‘s current estimate puts Antarctica’s annual ice sheet loss at 150 billion tons per year and Greenland’s at 270 billion tons, contributing to the swift rise of sea levels worldwide. In another series, Altered States, the artist uses carbon-based pigments and coal particles to mar the serene surfaces in a quiet aggression that mirrors the harmful extraction of these materials and the burning of fossil fuels that propel the climate crisis.
In adjoining bodies of work titled Glacial Liquescence and—poignantly—Expiring, Carr Morgan combines analog and digital photographic processes to distort, abstract, or conceal the original images, taking the viewer in and out of reality. At first glance, the vibrant colors seem pleasant, even joyful, yet the further one tries to make out the image, the more they become distracting, even unsettling, as the landscape disappears from view. She says, “Greenland and Antarctica’s glaciers are melting, and we will weep.”
© Patricia Carr Morgan, courtesy of the artist.
Header image: Greenland 2008-2018 #40, from Altered States. Archival pigment print, Museo Silver rag paper, 22 x 31 inches, mounted on Dibond