3 May - 15 June 2014 | Mount Marua Gallery

A site specific installation inspired by the icy finger of death discovered in the Antarctic Ocean. Heavy Water by sculptural artist Gabby O'Connor depicts the magical process of brine tubes forming under the Antarctic sea ice.

Brine tubes, or brinicles are created when sea ice forms on the ocean surface. As the sea water freezes the salt in the sea water is squeezed out, draining into the ocean below. Due to its extreme saltiness and subsequent heaviness, it sinks rapidly. As this briny water descends, the sea water around it freezes instantly,c reating an icy tbue which grows downwards to the sea floor. Whe it reaches the bottom of the ocean it kills whatever is in it way, encasing it in ice and earning the reputation as an icy finger of death, threatening life on the sea floor.

Using segments of lacquered and dyed tissue paper, O'Connor treats the gallery as the space between the bottom of an ice shelf and the ocean floor, with brine tubes growing from the ceiling down towards the floor, like frozen underwater frozen stalactites. By filling the tubes with light, O’Connor offers a spatial experience,re-creating what it may be like beneath the sea ice.

Sunday 11 May 2014 | 1pm

O'Connor will be giving an artist talk and presntation with Niwa Scientist Craig Stevens'