In September 2019 Emma Stibbon (b. 1962) undertook a residency in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, which is situated in the Arctic Ocean. Svalbard is now known to be the fastest-warming place on the planet. Stibbon’s response to this residency was a body of new work which includes two new prints, entitled Peninsula Range, which depicts a snow covered mountainside and Isfjorden, Svalbard, which portrays a range of mountains as the sun sets behind it, a view that Stibbon was able to enjoy from the studio in Svalbard each day.
Stibbon’s approach to landscape is driven by a desire to understand how human activity and the forces of nature shape our surroundings. She does this through location-based research and drawing from observation out in the field. Stibbon’s field work in Svalbard developed, back in the studio, into a series of prints, a medium Stibbon describes as an important extension of her drawing practice.
Other prints in this Online Viewing Room depict details from similar polar landscapes, including sea mist, ice sheets, exposed ridges on glaciers, remnants of a forest fire and the spiky basalt sea stacks of Reynisdrangar in southern Iceland, which are framed by a black beach of volcanic sand. Stibbon has made several field trips to Iceland, a landscape that encompasses both fire and ice. These new and recent prints are a record of physical moments out in the field in some of the most inhospitable and rapidly changing landscapes in the world.
Recent residencies Stibbon has completed include Death Valley National Parks Arts Foundation Residency, the National Parks South Rim Residency, Grand Canyon (2018); Project Pressure expedition to Ecuador (2017); Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Residency (2016); Josef and Albers Foundation, Connecticut (2016); Friends of Scott Polar Research Institute placement in Antarctica (2013) and the Arctic Circle (2013).
Stibbon’s residency at Artica studio, Longyearbyen, Svalbard was supported by The Queen Sonia Print Award.
Film | Isfjorden, Svalbard, 2020
Working out in the field in Svalbard, Norway
About the artist
About the artist
Emma Stibbon was born in 1962 in Münster, Germany. She studied for her Fine Art BA at Goldsmiths, University of London; and an MA in Research Fine Art the University of the West of England, Bristol. She was elected Royal Academician in 2013 and in 2020 became a Patron of The Big Draw. Her work is held in numerous private and public collections including the Stadtmuseum, Berlin; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery; Pallant House Gallery, Chichester; the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon-Tyne; and Potsdam Museum, Germany.