How will the delicate ecosystems of three discrete oceans intermingle in the Arctic? These confluences are imagined in a fantastical landscape in Lisa Creskey’s latest exhibition, Sunset Cruise – one in which the bedrock has eyes, and maw-like crevasses appear to devour seabirds.
But a seabird is never just a seabird in Creskey’s work – here are gannets and Parasitic Jaeger birds, and Tingmiatornis Arctica, an ancient denticulated species akin to a cormorant. Has a prehistoric seabird come back to life now that the planet has warmed? The layering of imagery is suggestive, never didactic. A little research will tell you that Tingmiatornis Arctica lived in an Arctic that was semitropical – a fossil story adding yet another layer to Creskey’s vision.
Textured is a good adjective to describe this exhibition; it has prickly spines and strange teeth, a subtle warp and weft. Within the work, strands of thinking and feeling are blended together in the most intuitive manner, and poetic relationships are revealed – between rock, whale, bird, bone and porcelain. Most concerning, of course, is the relationship between the past and the future. In taking this Sunset Cruise, we recall a doomed voyage while glimpsing a world in which – tragically – an icebreaker is no longer needed.