Climate Change in Antarctica by kelly heaton

Kelly Heaton, "Climate Change (Penguins)," 2017. Digital photocollage comprised of an electronic circuit, a photo of Emperor Penguins in Antarctica, and pixel manipulation

Kelly Heaton, "Climate Change (Penguins)," 2017. Digital photocollage comprised of an electronic circuit, a photo of Emperor Penguins in Antarctica, and pixel manipulation

Emperor penguins may disappear by the end of this century

By Lakshmi SupriyaJul. 7, 2017 , 10:30 AM

Emperor penguins are known for braving the harsh Antarctic winters, but they might not be able to brave the harsh realities of climate change. That’s the finding of a new study, which suggests that by the end of this century, the world’s largest penguins may be no more. Previous research suggested that rapidly warming air and sea temperatures—which melt sea ice—might cause their numbers to plummet by as much as 19% by 2100. But a new model looks at other factors, including how individual penguins deal with climate change by migrating to places with optimal sea ice coverage. In their model of potential penguin migrations, researchers looked at how far penguins typically go and what factors figure in their decisions. They used data previously collected from Pointe Géologie in Antarctica along with satellite images of penguin colonies that revealed information about their traveling and foraging behavior. The model projects that for the next 2 decades, populations will remain stable, and may even increase slightly as the penguins move to locations that are more habitable. After 2050, it all goes downhill. Although the rate of population decline may vary, by the year 2100 almost all emperor penguins may be gone, the researchers write in an upcoming issue of Biological Conservation. That’s because climate change will have rendered all their habitats inhospitable by then. Gaining endangered status under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, the scientists say, may be one way of arresting what might otherwise be their final march.

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DOI: 10.1126/science.aan7070

The Raft of Medusa by kelly heaton

"The Raft of Medusa" (1 in a series of 5 unique works), 2017. 39.5" x 54.25" Archival inkjet print, silk screen, and acrylic on canvas

"The Raft of Medusa" (1 in a series of 5 unique works), 2017. 39.5" x 54.25" Archival inkjet print, silk screen, and acrylic on canvas

I created five unique versions of this print during my summer residency at Otis College of Art and Design. This work was made possible thanks to support from Creative Capital, Otis College of Art and Design, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, and volunteer models. "The Raft of Medusa" (1 of 5) will be donated to the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation 2017 auction to raise money for environmental defense and climate change activism. For more information about the auction, please contact Lisa at Schiff Fine Art (info@schifffineart.com or (646) 478-8561). For more information about other prints in this series of 5, please contact Marco Nocella at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts (marco@feldmangallery.com or 212-226-3232).


Painted in 1818-1819, Théodore Géricault’s “The Raft of the Medusa” is a masterpiece of human error, desperation, and resilience. I recreated this legendary artwork for the purpose of climate change activism. I used a raft made of trash, rising ocean levels, and a carbon-saturated atmosphere to situate 21st century people adrift on a dangerous sea that they largely ignore. One occupant of the raft looks distressed, but the others are preoccupied with their cells phones or focused on other people. My message is reinforced with sea snakes and electrical cords that remind us of Medusa, the mythological woman who was cursed by Athena for her insufferable vanity.

Above: details from The Raft of Medusa (1 of 5), 2017.
Below: Images from my process of creating "The Raft of Medusa" series of 5 unique prints. The first three images show the raft that I built from trash collected in Los Angeles. The people are volunteers who came separately to be photographed on the raft. Using Photoshop, I collaged everyone into a single, coherent composition that I printed onto canvas using an Epson archival inkjet printer. Next, I created films for each design and color layer of silk screen. I burned a series of screens that I used to print "spot colors" of designs onto the canvas that add depth and texture to the rising ocean, the carbon-saturated sky, the electrical cords, and the serpents of Medusa. I screen-printed onto my inkjet print because I wanted to make nature and electricity literally encroach upon the raft and its occupants - who represent all of human civilization. Sadly, humanity is largely self-absorbed and unresponsive to the crisis of climate change. 

Above top row: three volunteers from the community of Otis College of Art and Design who individually posed for The Raft of Medusa (2017)
Above middle row (left to right): my digital master file, selecting negatives for burning screens, applying photo emulsion to a silk screen. Photos of me working on the piece are courtesy of Antonia Jones of Los Angeles.
Above bottom row (left to right): rinsing my screen to reveal an image, registering my canvas prior to printing, pulling ink through the screen to print on the canvas. Photos courtesy of Antonia Jones of Los Angeles.

news: prints for sale by kelly heaton

I am pleased to offer three new prints for your consideration.  Whether you love art, electronics, or the environment, my latest images are sure to delight you and your sweetheart alike.  

Each print is limited to an edition of 25.  They are:

Apocalypse of the Heart, 2016. Digital photo collage. 16" x 24.86."
Signed, titled, and numbered on the front.  

All I Need is the Air, 2016. Digital photo collage.  16" x 16."
Signed, titled, and numbered on the front

Love is a Battlefield, 2016. Digital photo collage.  16" x 24.86."
Signed, titled, and numbered on the front.

Any single print is offered for $2,500.
Super lovers can purchase all three for $6,000. 
The prints are unframed, but tax and domestic shipping are included.

If you're in love, don't miss out!

Email inquiries to info@kellyheatonstudio.com

open studio: no water by kelly heaton

No Water, 2016.  Digital photo collage.  Kelly Heaton

We had an old horse colic today.  Vet says not enough water and dry hay are to blame.  Fortunately, we helped him through it and he's going to be OK.  The scare got me thinking about this image, made for entirely different concerns about no water on earth.  Or water in all the wrong places.

open studio: love is a battlefield by kelly heaton

Love is a Battlefield, 2016.  Digital photocollage.  Kelly Heaton

Valentine's Day is coming, although I don't need a holiday to mix romance with late-Anthropocene apocalyptic visions.  In keeping with my song theme, I wonder how lovers will frolic in the acid rain under an ozone-less sky?  Sounds like a battlefield to me.

open studio: snow birds at my feeder by kelly heaton

Snow Birds at My Feeder, 2016. Digital photocollage (sketch). Kelly Heaton

We got three feet of snow this weekend.  After two days of slogging and shoveling, I am finally able to appreciate the beauty.  Birds are going crazy at my feeder.  It's beautiful to watch their colorful flittering and flight against the snowy background.