“Climate change is a reality. Caused by us all, it is a cultural, social and economic problem and must move beyond scientific debate. Cape Farewell is committed to the notion that artists can engage the public in this issue, through creative insight and vision.” DAVID BUCKLAND, 2007
Julie’s Bicycle supports the creative community to act on climate change and environmental sustainability. They believe that the creative community is uniquely placed to transform the conversation around climate change and translate it into action.
The cultural response to climate change
In 2001 the artist David Buckland created the Cape Farewell project to instigate a cultural response to the climate challenge. Cape Farewell is now an international not-for-profit programme based in the UK.
Ice Watch, Tate Modern, London
Artist Olafur Eliasson has brought over 24 huge chunks of ice from the Nuup Kangerlua fjord in Greenland where they were melting into the ocean after breaking off from the ice sheet. Ice Watch, was his attempt to make the debate on climate change “less abstract”. “We have 24 ice blocks here, it’s going to take them about a week to melt — every second 10,000 blocks like these melt away all the time in Greenland.”
Western Flag, Somerset House, London
Renowned artist John Gerrard created a virtual simulation of a flag formed of endlessly emitting trails of thick black smoke. The flag flew silently in a virtual replica of Spindletop, Texas, the birthplace of the modern oil industry. The 1901 ‘Lucas Gusher’ produced more oil in one day than the rest of the world’s oilfields combined at the time, though now lies barren and depopulated, the original deposits long exhausted. This installation precisely parallelled the sunrises, sunsets and shadows of the real-life Spindletop, reflecting the changing Texan landscape in real-time. Video of the installation
Pollution Pods, London
Michael Pinsky is a British artist whose international projects have created innovative and challenging works in galleries and public spaces. He has undertaken many residencies that explore issues which shape and influence the use of our public realm. Taking the combined roles of artist, urban planner, activist, researcher, and resident, he starts residencies and commissions without a specified agenda, working with local people and resources, allowing the physical, social and political environment to define his working methodology.
In Pollution Pods, six geodesic domes are connected to form a ring. Within each dome the air quality of six global cities is recreated. A carefully mixed recipe emulates the relative presence of ozone, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide which pollute these cities. Starting from the hosting city, the visitor will pass through increasingly polluted cells, from dry and cold locations to hot and humid.
Tan Zi Xi
Artist and illustrator Tan Zi Xi’s work mixes wry, playful humor with the realities of ocean pollution. Her early collection, “An Effort Most Futile,” showcases cartoonish scenes of overwhelming environmental challenges. More recently, her large-scale installation of recycled oceanic debris—“Plastic Ocean”—was on display at the Singapore Art Museum from May to August 2016. Composed of over 20,000 pieces of refuse suspended motionless, “Plastic Ocean” is an eerily immersive reminder of the permanence of our impact on the oceans.
New Windsor, NY
This exhibit uses Storm King’s Museum Building and 500-acre site as platforms for seventeen contemporary artists to present work that engages with some of the many challenges—scientific, cultural, personal, psychological—that climate change has brought to humankind. Through a wide variety of conceptual approaches and artistic media, the exhibition demonstrates how art can command attention for difficult subjects and spur creative thought, solutions, and ideas in ways that elude other means of communication and understanding. March-Nov, 2018
The Climate Museum
New York The Climate Museum provides a home base for a wave of vibrant and robust engagement with the climate challenge. A locus for possibility, it will cultivate a shared identity for a new and inspiring climate citizenship. It will be a landmark in the New York City cultural landscape, drawing us together around the social justice, public health, and urban design challenges and opportunities presented by climate change. Past exhibit: In Human Time