Ice as Portal

The Ice image as portal- only open for a short while – becomes a transitional space, a liminal zone, ‘a palimpsest of fluid movements between different states, scales and registers’ Modeen.M)

It is an open window into another interpretation of landscape – a phenomenological experience of place.

Brush marks dissolve becoming an expression of a moment literally frozen in time. On ice the notion of temporality is emphasised. There is a juxtaposition of the ephemeral and the preserved in the landscape. Just as a beautiful sky is enjoyed for a moment and then it is gone, the ice too is in a state of flux and change, as it is constantly erasing and recreating its own history.

The momentary and the ephemeral are recorded. Imaginary portals are transformed into temporal states of existences and dimensions whose existence are no more than memories registered in photographic traces.

The very nature of ice, its instability and collapse also speaks of the fragility of the environment and of climate change.

‘The life of the entire planet, revolves around the inter connected systems of land, ice and sea, the rhythmically flowing and frozen, watery nothingness that contains everything’ (Gooding)

The ice paintings are an attempt to negotiate this in between space, to take you beyond the immediate and familiar, to consider the larger context in which this life world exists.

These liminal experiences expose new realms of possibility, providing opportunities to subvert or challenge cultural givens or conventions.


Healy,C (2015) Thin Place, Exhibition Catalogue, Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Carmarthen

Gooding,M The Heart Beat of the Earth

Modeen, M (2015) Insterstices, Voids and Vibrant Spaces, Thin Place Symposium, Carmarthen, 28 February 2015

© Kate Bell and  2021

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