Michèle Noach was born in Australia and lived in The Netherlands & USA before her family settled in London in the last hours of the 1960s. She kept pet mice, listened to the Velvet Underground and The Damned and gazed at a lot of George Herriman, Jean Dubuffet, André François and Ronald Searle. Keen on code-breaking, she has been a cryptic crossword compiler, sign language interpreter and arts writer. Whilst travelling around the States and Australia (where she was bitten by a spider) in the ’80s, she wrote for various publications (incl. NME, i-D, Event, Seattle’s The Rocket, Boston Rock, Sydney’s Stiletto, Amnesty Magazine). She trained in print-making in the late ’80s and has worked as an artist since then, specialising in lenticulars (optical 3D images). Her first solo exhibition was Night Trick Acid at the Almeida Theatre in 1993. She was artist-in-residence at Liberty’s of London in 1994.
Her 2005 show Nø-âch’s Ârc-tìc at the Curwen Gallery reflected her expedition to Svalbard with Cape Farewell (science & art-based environmental organisation), when she sailed as far North as it is possible to do, on a 1909 Dutch schooner. In the same year her series of lenticular ‘measuring devices’, The Arctic Feel-O-Graphs was shown at The Natural History Museum in London. A second Arctic voyage to Greenland in 2008 on a research vessel also left its polar mark: she has been archiving, with comparative lenticulars, the retreating glaciers of the Far North in an ongoing series Through The Ice, Darkly, the product of physically tracking glaciers in and below the Arctic Circle. This series has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Kings’ Place in London, Parsons in New York, Beijing at The Central Academy of Fine Arts, The University of Applied Arts in Vienna and in 2016 in its updated entirety, The Chicago Academy of Sciences. The project was part-funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy.
From 2009 Michèle was artist-in-residence at the Eden Project in a 3-year collaboration, studying with horticulturist Dr. Ian Martin the adaptive behaviour of Arctic poppies. This was the subject of The Arctic Poppy Chronicles, her 2012 show at Eden and Poppyflakes, a book about art/science collaborations. This show travelled to the University of Oxford Botanic Garden in spring 2013. In 2008, also in Cornwall, she exhibited her lenticular installation The Glasshouse Men in the greenhouses of The Lost Gardens of Heligan, celebrating the lives of the gardeners who were lost in WW1.Between 2004 and 2011 she organized a series of gigs with landlord Deke Eichler at The 3 Kings pub in Clerkenwell, which raised over £45,000 for Médecins Sans Frontières.
In 2015 she was invited for a month’s artist residency to Vadsø, Finnmark, inside the Arctic Circle. As part of the residency she organised a small, sold-out music festival, Ice Station Vadsø and also took part in a local group show, Ice Art and a solo show Vadsø: Twenty Skies, featuring monoprints she completed while there. She produced a documentary about Vadsø with film-makers Colin Izod and Duncan Harris, Ice Staton Vadsø.
In 2017 she returned to stage another festival Sun Station Vadsø, also a sell-out, with additional poetry, film and art events. During the festival she produced The Dream Syndicate’s video for their new release, Filter Me Through You. She took a smaller version of this festival to Japan in the same year, as Ice Station Japan, and had a climate-based art show in Tokyo whilst there.
She is currently making Moose Latitudes, a new film about the Norwegian Arctic Circle, climate and love of ‘place’.In November 2017, she was awarded the Culture Prize in Finnmark’s capital Vadsø, for services to the arts and community.
Defying the odds, in 2009 she was bitten by a spider again.
Michèle Noach’s work was featured in Island Tables as part of the Nansen Global Consultation, Geneva 2015