Gallery- Debbie Symons

Debbie Symons

Tomorrow Land, 2011.
Antique set of Map Drawers, pencils, water colour, paper and graphite

Tomorrow Land explores the multifaceted historic development of Antarctica, highlighting the territory as a sensitive indicator of global change. Consisting of six 685 x 1000mm drawings/collages, the works create a microcosm of information that explores the visual progression of Antarctica, including modern climatic impacts, invasive species and the effects of fishing in the Southern Ocean. The works are presented in a set of old wooden map drawers, revealing the many layers pertinent to this changing continent.  

Drawer 1
The Bounty of the Sea (2008 Fishing and Whaling)
11 of the 14 albatross species that are found in the Southern Ocean are listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Up to 160,000 albatross, petrels and other seabirds are caught and killed as fishing “by catch” in the Southern Ocean every year.

Drawer 2
Geopolitics (Alien non-indigenous species)

Invasive rats (Rattus rattus) and cats (Felis catus) have wiped out entire colonies of native sea birds in sub Antarctic Islands. Rabbits have destroyed native vegetation and invading plants have altered ecosystems irreversibly.

Drawer 3
Thermoception (Surface Temperature)
In the past 3 decades, the Antarctic Peninsula’s Adelie penguin population has fallen by almost 90%, with the peninsulas only Emperor Colony now extinct.