20 November 2023–31 December 2023

Frozen In Time: Photographs from the Arctic and Antarctica

Diane Tuft

Part of The Avenue during COP28, Alserkal Art Week - November

Starts 20 November 2023

Ends 31 December 2023

Venue Leila Heller Gallery

Warehouse 86/87


This exhibition is a collection of photographs documenting the expansive beauty of our planet and the dire situation that it continues to face if we do not provide a sustainable environment for its future. Diane Tuft uses her camera to capture these results and distill them into images that are surreal, awe-inspiring, beautiful, but most importantly, thought-provoking. By travelling to the most remote places throughout the world including both the North and South Poles, she has been able to document the visual effects of climate change and global warming on our planet. While ultraviolet light is responsible for the vibrant, ethereal colors in these photographs, its effect on the planet and human health is of serious and growing scientific concern.

Diane Tuft’s work focuses on the effects of ozone depletion and global warming as they are accelerating detrimental ultraviolet and infrared radiation absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere. While ultraviolet and infrared spectra cannot be seen by the human eye, it can be almost magically captured by digital image sensors and certain types of film. She explores these spectra in geographic regions where ultraviolet and infrared light are most prevalent, including the Great Salt Lake, Iceland, Greenland, Tunisia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the Arctic.

The Arctic is melting faster than any other place in the world. To capture ‘The Arctic Melt: Images of a Disappearing Landscape’, driven by her desire to create a comprehensive picture of the fragility of this region, Diane Tuft travelled by plane, boat and helicopter to the mountain glaciers of Svalbard, Norway, the Arctic Ocean’s sea ice, the icebergs and ice sheet of Greenland during the summers of 2015 and 2016. The resulting photographs reveal simultaneously the indefatigable beauty and poignant vulnerability of the planet’s northernmost regions.

In 2012, a grant from the National Science Foundation brought Diane Tuft to Antarctica for six weeks. The resulting series of photographs, titled ‘Gondwana: Images of an Ancient Land’ , documents the dramatic natural landscape of this remote and ancient continent. Details of ice and rock are distilled into stunning forms for the viewer to consider anew. The photographs are both visual and scientific studies, conveying the subtle and violent atmospheric changes registered on the Antarctic landscape over millions of years. Tuft’s photographs capture the high levels of ultraviolet light in Antarctica and expose the visual effects of years of climate change.