A Peculiar Brightness in the Sky / Empire 2008-2009
Patte Loper A Peculiar Brightness in the Sky / Empire 2008-2009
Improvised Shelter Series 1, 2008, graphite on paper, 11

Drawing from John Ruskin’s notions of the "Pathetic Fallacy" in which the outward manifestation of the landscape mirrors inner emotional states, this body of work employs Antarctica—hostile, empty, beautiful—as a fictional site of historical, scientific and emotional speculation. The images are inspired by accounts of early 20th century explorers and their attempts to map uncharted lands with woefully inadequate knowledge and equipment in order to fulfill a sense of manifest destiny—all the while maintaining impeccable manners and civility in the face of hopeless brutality.

Certain works in the show draw upon images of structures built by early Antarctic explorers in dire circumstances and with limited means. For example, Improvised Shelter (Hut 2) is based on the structure that Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton's expedition crew built from a salvaged lifeboat after they were stranded on Elephant Island (1915). Other visual references for works are drawn from 1950’s bomb shelter plans, ships caught and destroyed in the pack ice, as well as viable existing structures currently in use at the South Pole.

Patte Loper A Peculiar Brightness in the Sky / Empire 2008-2009 graphite and acrylic on paper
Improvised Shelter Series (hut 2)
2008
graphite and acrylic on paper
11" x 15"

Patte Loper A Peculiar Brightness in the Sky / Empire 2008-2009 graphite and Acrylic on paper
Improvised Shelter Series (hut 3)
2008
graphite and Acrylic on paper
11" x 15"

Patte Loper A Peculiar Brightness in the Sky / Empire 2008-2009 graphite and acrylic on paper
Improvised Shelter Series (hut 4)
2008
graphite and acrylic on paper
11" x 15"

Patte Loper A Peculiar Brightness in the Sky / Empire 2008-2009 graphite and acrylic on paper
Constellation
2008
graphite and acrylic on paper
34" x 30"

Patte Loper A Peculiar Brightness in the Sky / Empire 2008-2009 graphite and acrylic on canvas
Unrequited Research Facility
2008
graphite and acrylic on canvas
22" x 30"

Patte Loper A Peculiar Brightness in the Sky / Empire 2008-2009 Graphite
Observation Deck for Bottomless Pit
2008-2009
Graphite
104" x 60"

Patte Loper A Peculiar Brightness in the Sky / Empire 2008-2009
Detail, Observation Deck for Bottomless Pit
Detail

Patte Loper A Peculiar Brightness in the Sky / Empire 2008-2009 Graphite
Containment Unit for Black Hole
2009
Graphite
60" x 90"

Patte Loper A Peculiar Brightness in the Sky / Empire 2008-2009 Graphite
Chamber for Astral Projection
2009
Graphite
35" x 30"

Patte Loper A Peculiar Brightness in the Sky / Empire 2008-2009 Graphite
Chamber for Astral Projection (II)
2009
Graphite
14" x 17"

Patte Loper A Peculiar Brightness in the Sky / Empire 2008-2009 Graphite
Light Collection Center
2009
Graphite
40" x 50"

Bibliography Section Article Bibliography Section Catalog Bibliography Section Web Link PDF icon displayed by thumbnail Sold Dot