ICE BREAKER art and science workshop


Imagine you are a bubble of air trapped in ice from 18 million years ago. What secrets do you contain? What stories would you tell? What would your impressions be of the world today? In this workshop, you will be lead throughout the creative process of an art and science project.

One of the world’s leading underwater artists, Emma Critchley, winner of Science Gallery

Venice’s Earth Water Sky artists residency programme (funded by Fondation Didier et Martine Primat), leads a creative workshop at Ca' Foscari University of Venice.


Inspired by the work of Professor Carlo Barbante and his team at Ca' Foscari University of

Venice who are working on the Ice Memory Project, you will investigate one of the most important research projects on Climate Change from an artistic perspective.

The Ice Memory Project aims to create a library of ice cores drilled from non- polar regions which will be safely stored in Antarctica. From the ice cores and the air bubbles trapped in the ice which can be dated in some instances as far back as 18,000 BCE, scientists can reconstruct the Earth’s past climate and atmospheric composition. It is an invaluable record of climate change.


The reason for holding the workshop is to involve you all in the creative development of Emma Critchley’s final art work, in order to gather diverse and collective responses to the narratives the ice cores reveal, rather than the ideas coming solely from the artist.

This approach is deliberate: we are all connected with one another - plant, human, animal, rock and water. We are all also fundamentally connected to the environment which we share with one another. The aim is that Emma’s final artwork which she will produce next year will hold some of these different perspectives revealed in the workshop by the participants.


This workshop will offer you the opportunity to look into the creative process of one of the world's few underwater artists: you will get the chance to see closely her approach and methods, while she is facing not only one of the most important scientific research project in the world, but also one that might have a huge impact on society.

Moreover, you will have the chance to get:

  • Learning about the Ice Memory Project, Climate Change and Environmental Sciences;
  • Learning about researching in the process of creating an artwork;
  • Dealing with scientific facts, through different approaches;
  • Managing a co-creation development process with colleagues from different fields;
  • Being motivated and ambitious to change perspective in order to develop effectively storytelling of research.



The workshop is open to a maximum of 25 people. We encourage students, researchers and curious ones from all the fields of studies to take the chance to participate.  

We aim at collaborating with a diverse range of people as possible.


image credits:
Top: Emma Critchley, Still from 'Common Heritage’ film.
Bottom: Ice Memory Project, Grand Combin

Registration is available here!


Tuesday, October 1, 2019 - 15:00 to 18:30
Ca' Bottacin, Calle Crosera, 3911, 30123 Venezia VE