Heat Wave

Artist Blog by Ariana Żukowski

Heat Wave is a series about the ephemeral nature of the local surroundings we love, which are at risk of slipping through our hands and beyond the grasp of future generations. These images document individuals' attempts to grapple with extreme weather during the record-breaking heat wave of 2022, which has now been surpassed in 2023. This series serves as a personal reminder of the increasing frequency of extreme weather episodes I have lived through, such as hazardous air quality via wildfires and various regional heat domes.

The use of beige and blue in the series speaks to the motifs of intense heat and the resulting rise of our oceans. The sequence plays on the visual metaphor of sinking, starting with people stuck in sand and concrete-laden streets, then slowly submerging in water, until fully engulfed. The environmental frames evolve to become more arid and polluted, impacting the quality of life for both people and wildlife. The two extremes underline the different effects of climate change, such as the impact of melting ice caps on coastal communities and the increase of people forced inside by high temperatures and unhealthy air quality.

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