By Austin Parkhill
Published Issue 109, January 2023
Polar Solar — 9 x 12in acrylic and graphite on board.
Inspired by my 4×4 trek across the Arctic Ocean, featuring the enigmatic musk ox, a crazy remote solar powered weather station, and the inspiring Bollinger Motors B1 electric truck. I’m reimagining this arctic adventure again, this time fueled by the sun.
Polar Solar is also a part of the MEGAfauna series which considers the way we as people interact with the natural environment, utilizing the arctic villages of Alaska as backdrop. This is a place I have lived amongst beasts. By confronting mega-sized arctic wildlife in local scenes, we consider coexistence with these massive creatures, a genuine concern as the climate changes. After years of arctic living, I have become intimately familiar with the daily interactions with wildlife, exacerbated by the dramatic effects of global warming on this unique part of the world.
Austin Parkhill is an artist living in Alaska. He has shown his paintings nationally, including highlight exhibitions at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C., Jonathan LeVine Projects (NYC), the Anchorage Museum, and the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities.
The artist has a sturdy studio practice that pairs with exhibitions and public art within the scope of his studio work.
An outdoor life continually influences his practice, often witnessing accelerated climate change in a vulnerable part of the world. He derives content from the Arctic Coast to the mountains of Kenai Peninsula. Through museum and gallery shows, public art and international publications, the artist takes opportunities to impact the world at large.
Parkhill is originally from the Front Range of Colorado, where he grew up playing hockey, painting, and making oven-baked clay animals. Prior to his time in the wilds of Alaska, he lived in Denver and Boston for extended periods.