Slow Melt was a collaborative artwork conceived and shown at Australian Galleries Stockroom by artists Heather Hesterman and Sarah Tomasetti. It was shown as part of The Warming, curated by Mandy Martin as part of the Art+Climate=Change festival held in May 2015 in Melbourne, Victoria. This event featured more than 20 galleries plus talks by David Buckland and Bill Fox. Slow Melt is a time-based installation by, that over 22 days charts several global and local freshwater ways, from glacial sources, lakes, rivers and confluence through to delta systems. The importance of regular seasonal glacial melts is vital for river systems supplying water as a source for drinking, agriculture, fishing, transportation, hygiene, habitats, maintaining healthy ecologies and beneficial flow. The gradual incremental loss to the Arctic and Antarctic ice regions may be documented by science but it is a distant reality for the majority of urban-based inhabitants. The following images show the different waterways depicted through colour changes.
In this installation at Australian Galleries, the melt water drains from the aluminium reservoir via a metal channel and is discharged through a hole in the gallery wall to run onto the footpath. Water-based pigments stain and wet the path, presenting passers-by with an abject end to a once jewel-like form. The colours of the frozen ice-rocks reflect our survey of the composition of various bodies of water from tannin-tinged rivers to the turquoise of glacial melt water.