In January and February 2014 Ambika P3, the flagship exhibition space at the University of Westminster, will present Out of Ice by visual artist Elizabeth Ogilvie. This new commission will involve environments created with ice and ice melt, constructions, films of ice systems, film of scientific expedition from Antarctica, and poetic film, much of it created through collaborations with Inuit in Northern Greenland, and reflecting on their deep and sustaining relationships with ice. The exhibition will portray the psychological, physical and poetic dimensions of ice and water and draw attention to ice processes. It will describe the presence of ice in the world from a human perspective in which the observational traditions of fieldwork will be combined with the artist’s trademark visual splendour.

In concert with the exhibition, the University of Westminster is convening ‘Reading and Exhibiting Nature’, a three-day conference examining how nature is being understood in contemporary cultural and artistic production. With a focus both in and beyond the polar regions, we will explore how artists and scientists are apprehending and representing natural phenomena, engaging with emerging non-human materialities and translating environmental data into aesthetic experience. The conference seeks to explore the shifting definitions of nature and how nature, including plants, animals, land, water/ice and weather inserts itself into human affairs and is represented culturally.

The ‘Reading and Exhibiting Nature’ conference is planned in association with project’s host institution, the University of Westminster and co-hosted by Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh and Anchorage Museum, Alaska. The organising committee includes Elizabeth Ogilvie, visual artist, Edinburgh; Mark Eischeid landscape architect/artist, Edinburgh; artist and curator Michael Maziere, University of Westminster; Lindsey Bremner, Director of Architectural Research, University of Westminster; Katharine Heron, Head of Department of Architecture, University of Westminster; Jo Vergunst, anthropologist, Aberdeen and Julie Decker, curator, author, artist, Anchorage Museum. Scholars and practitioners from any relevant discipline are invited to interrogate both the fine-grained nuances and broad contours of reading and exhibiting nature.

Keynote Address will be by Professor Tim Ingold, Chair of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen

Confirmed participants will include:

  • Allison Warden, Inupiaq performance artist
  • Amanda Thomson, Glasgow School of Art
  • David Dernie, University of Westminster
  • Davide Deriu – University of Westminster
  • Dimitra Ntzani and John Barber, University of Edinburgh
  • Dominic Hodgson, British Antarctic Survey
  • Elizabeth Ogilvie, Edinburgh College of Art
  • Fiona Curran, Slade, UCL
  • Jeremy Pataky, Poet
  • Jessica Lee, York University, Toronto
  • Jo Vergunst, University of Aberdeen
  • Alan Johnston, University of Edinburgh
  • Jon Goodbun – University of Westminster
  • Julie Decker, Anchorage Museum
  • Karen Jaschke, University of Brighton
  • Karo Thomson Fleischer, Ilulissat, Northern Greenland
  • Katharine Heron, University of Westminster
  • Lesley Harrison, University of Aberdeen
  • Lindsay Bremner, University of Westminster
  • Lisa Mackenzie, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
  • Livia Rezende, Royal College of Art, Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Marek Ranis, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Maria Mitsuola – University of Edinburgh
  • Mark Eischeid, University of Edinburgh
  • Martin Siegert, University of Bristol
  • Michael Perkins, University of Westminster
  • Ronald Binnie, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
  • Ruth Maclennan, Royal College of Art
  • Suna Christensen, Metropole University, Copenhagen
  • Tiago Torres-Campos, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
  • Tim Ingold, University of Aberdeen
  • Tom Corby, University of Westminster

Programme and registration

This conference will take place from 4pm on Friday 7 February to Sunday 9 February 2014.

  • Full conference: Standard rate £200. One day rate £110
  • Full conference: Student rate £90. One day rate £65.

This covers all conference documentation, refreshments, lunch, receptions and administration costs. Registration is now open. Please down load the registration form and send it to [email protected].

Please see the draft programme and some hotel suggestions.