Statement About Artist
Diane Burko focuses on monumental geological phenomenon. Since 2006 her practice has been at the intersection of art, science and the environment, devoted to the urgent issues of climate change. Her work about glacial melt reflects expeditions to the three largest ice fields in the world. In 2013, she sailed around Svalbard (400 miles north of Norway) with artists and spent four days in Ny-Alesund with scientists from the Norwegian Polar Institute. In 2014, she returned to the Arctic, exploring Greenland's Ilulissat and Eqi Sermia glaciers. She first traveled to the Antarctic Peninsula in 2013 and again in January 2015 with the non-profit “Students on Ice,” after which she flew from Ushuaia to El Calafate to discover the Patagonian ice field of Argentina.
Diane is now focusing on the world’s oceans and the dramatic bleaching of coral reef eco-systems. The increased acidification and warming waters caused by rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere is one of the primary reasons for this dire situation. She first flew over the Great Barrier Reef in 2017, then continued her exploration in 2018 with a month-long expedition to the South Pacific. There, she explored reefs along the coast of Oahu, Molokai, Lanai and Maui in Hawaii and American Samoa.
Diane’s explorations in all these locations profoundly inform her work as she bears witness to the Anthropocene.
Her photography practice serves a dual purpose - sometimes for documentation, and other times for creating compelling imagery, usually formatted in 30x30 or 40x60 inch dimensions as archival inkjet prints. She also works in time-based media.
Aside from creating art from her environmental experiences. Burko continually gains knowledge through visiting research labs and engaging with scientists at institutions such as the Norwegian Polar Institute, INSTAAR in Boulder, Colorado, the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies in Tasmania, the Hawaiian Institute of Marine Biology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Erik Cordes Lab at Temple University in Philadelphia. She speaks at various conferences such as the GSA (Geological Society of America) and AGU (American geophysical Union). Diane Burko is committed to public engagement. She makes herself available to wide audiences in an effort to convey her experiences and share her knowledge about the ways global warming impacts our planet. She uses both facts and images to make the invisible visual and visceral.