ICE (H20) is an ongoing project that portrays the effects of Global Warming. The world, as it has been for millennia, is changing and Jasmine Rossi has chosen photography as a medium to stir our conscience and make us reflect on the dire question of the future of our planet.
Glaciers cave into the ocean, giant bergs float nimbly across Patagonian lakes, waves lick and gnaw at icebergs creating astounding shapes and forms. The results are abstract shapes and patterns in unrealistic colors—ephemeral sculptures created by the elements.
At first glance, the emerald green and deep turquoise shapes appear to have been artificially placed into the winter landscape. Transparent, iridescent, illuminated by an eerie light from within, they seem to have been chiselled in glass. But Rossi does not use any type of tools to carve these wondrous shapes nor does she digitally manipulate her images.
Blue ice was formed at a time when the poles had not yet been reached by man, and the world was still uncontaminated. It may be hundreds, even thousands, of years old and is a metaphor for the purity lost.
Green ice is extremely rare, and also dates back from a time when the planet was still pristine. Green ice includes microscopic algae, and is a metaphor for the delicate composition of the ocean’s waters and the balance of the elements on the planet.
But all this beauty is deceiving—it is death that we are looking at—the final moments of an element (H20) in transformation, its regression from a solid to a liquid state. What we see are ‘ephemeral sculptures’ frozen in time by her lens—the very last remnants of thousand-year-old ice, expelled from the innermost core of an ancient glacier that is now melting away.
Rossi’s ICE series presents the beginning of a catastrophe. Like the perfect calm before a hurricane, or the glorious light illuminating the sky before a massive storm, the eerie beauty of the wondrous shapes and forms, created by the melting ice and frozen in time by her camera, are illusory.
Her images are historical snapshots, conscious compositions created with a sense of urgency, aware that she is up against a race with time, as these fantastic formations are steadily disintegrating in front of her very eyes.
On her quest to portray this metamorphosis, she has spent months, even years, in some of the world’s most inhospitable environments, such as Antarctica, Alaska and Patagonia.
Although her subject is as far away from civilization as can be, the absence of human presence is only illusory: her surreal landscapes are a direct consequence of our industrial rampage.
After a life in the heart of London, among the madness of Manhattan, and the eternal bustle of Rome, I longed for the serenity of nature. The stunning beauty of the immense, vast, and wild southern tip of South America, known as Patagonia, overwhelmed me, and prompted a passion that was to change my life.