University of Herfordshire artist to perform rain dance in Antarctica

PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 March 2014

Marty St James in Antarctica

Marty St James in Antarctica

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An "upside-down rain dance" will be performed by a Hatfield artist in Antarctica to raise awareness of climate change and try and make it stop raining.

Marty St James in AntarcticaMarty St James in Antarctica

Professor Marty St James will be artist in residence on the world’s most desolate continent while he creates art highlighting the changing climate.

The visual artist, who is head of Fine Art at the University of Hertfordshire, flew out to Argentina on Wednesday at the request of the country’s arts council.

It will be his second visit to the frozen expanse and he will stay on an Argentine army base.

“It is an extraordinary place, like going to the moon,” said the 60-year-old.

Marty St JohnMarty St John

“It is one of the last great wildernesses on Earth – and the penguins are fantastic.”

But he quickly added: “It is also very dangerous as well because it is very cold.

“Last time I was here it went down to minus 43.”

While he is at the icy tundra he will perform a dance inspired by indigenous Americans and create videos, photographs and drawings which he will then exhibit.

Work created by Marty St James, head of Fine Art at the University of HertfordshireWork created by Marty St James, head of Fine Art at the University of Hertfordshire

“I am interested in the idea we are being ignorant of climate change, because it is happening and we need to do something about it,” said Marty.

“And art is a good way to put messages across.”

He will be on the base until March 19 and told the Welwyn Hatfield Times he always takes tea and Cadbury’s chocolate with him.

“It is good to have something of where I have come from with me,” he said.

"It is one of the last great wildernesses on Earth – and the penguins are fantastic."

Marty St James, professor of Fine Art at the University of Hertfordshire

For more information, or to follow Marty’s journey, visit martystjames.com

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