April Surgent “Life on Ice”

Heller Gallery

poster for April Surgent “Life on Ice”

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Heller Gallery announces Life on Ice, the second solo exhibition of new work by Seattle-based artist April Surgent.

Life on Ice will present eight new cameo-engraved glass panels chronicling her experience at Palmer Station, one of three US stations in Antarctica, where Surgent spent a month in late 2013 as a Fellow of the National Science Foundation. Palmer Station is in a part of Antarctica that many agree is one of the fastest warming regions on Earth. Advanced scientific research and the changing climate being recorded there have significant implications on and for the rest of the world as we know it. The pieces included in Life on Ice are the second series from Surgent’s time in Antarctica. Her images show the majesty of the natural environment, the otherworldly light conditions, a sense of ‘endless days, melting together,’ the faces of scientists and the subjects of their study.

‘Wheel engraving glass is a slow and meticulous, age-old craft that takes a lifetime to master. In a world dominated by digital technologies and when time is perceived as a race against itself, I choose engraving as my voice,’ explains Surgent. ‘Using photographs as compositional studies I cut into the surface of layered-glass panels to make low-relief carvings. The engravings depict my collected experiences and impressions of the Antarctic and the work happening there; serving as tangible, archival records.’

Since her debut in the mid-2000s April Surgent breathed new relevance into cameo glass engraving by combining a millennial’s perspective of her everyday with a layered, painterly approach and an almost black & white physicality that is in stark contrast to the fleeting digital, most often associated with her generation. Her work has gained new gravitas in the Antarctic series as it brings awareness and bears witness to the precarious balance at which we find the Earth’s ecosystems today.



from September 10, 2015 to October 08, 2015

Opening Reception on 2015-09-10 from 18:00 to 20:00


April Surgent

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