The role art can play in communicating these messages of change is so important amongst other things. Art can inspire activism by personalising the debilitating abstract concepts around climate change and understanding our role within it. the big ABSTRACT – CLIMATE CHANGE. what art does is create empathy, compassion. it gives the observer / participant a way of accessing those unknown, un-explored emotions of fear , helplessness, despair… it can surely inspire hope, optimism and unity.
For change to happen it is important to understand where people are on the curve of awareness. and most importantly you can’t change people , you can only motivate, encourage and support those who are ready to take those steps. Plant seeds in young minds and hearts and provide a community which supports and nurtures their development. Within Community you are part of something bigger. Then you can act.
Climate change. The uncertainty and unpredictability for the future, with a massive responsibility in the present to make the changes necessary to live sustainably as a species on our planet. It is an exciting time with old systems being overturned, people questioning authority and the collapse of failing financial systems causing revolutionary approaches to survival. The importance of playing an active role in finding solutions towards sustainability and exploring the role art can play within that is becoming the driver of my work at the moment.
Art has the ability to create awareness, and generate empathy and compassion through its content. Public art nurtures confidence by giving people a voice and by bringing communities together. Inspiring workshops deepens a connection with the material through the creative process. Content gets internalised, stimulating further interests and thinking patterns.
Art can inspire activism by personalising the debilitating abstract concepts around climate change by helping us to understanding our role within it.
I was fortunate to connect with the directors of the previous Pierian Centre in Bristol, as well as the local Council Environmental Officer. We conceived a project within the Easton Community called LITTERARTI, which aligns our passions to be actively involved in tackling environmental problems on a community level.
Through this project we explore how civic engagement by the thriving artist community in Easton can be encouraged and to build a vehicle which enables a sustainable model to support that.
Utilising the opportunity and exposure of the popular Easton Arts Trail weekend 13-15 June, we are exhibiting litter sculptures co-created by local students and professional recycling artists along the Bath/Bristol cycle path and in an adjacent park. The sculptures will be the main attraction of a widely publicised and well attended community event, organised with the local council.
After this exhibition the project continues by moving to other venues, where workshops will be run with additional artists for charities and youth groups. We are using this project to build a team and plan to extend this concept across Bristol into next year.
I have placed myself 100% into this project, building on my skills and experience from my previous career in the digital sector, originally as Illustrator and Flash Designer, Graphic Designer and as Creative Digital Producer for the last 4 years, as well as experience working in schools with disabled students.
I am hoping to use this project as a platform to launch my artistic career in establishing a sustainable model in contributing to solutions about climate change, while financing my personal art projects.
- Annali Grimes is producing the project, assisting and leading workshops, as well as contributing to the sculptures of the other artists. Annali is also working on an educational project with the City Academy students producing dolls made out of students’ litter collected over a set period.
- Fiona Campbell explores our relationship with the natural world. Fiona creates mixed media sculptures wrought as primal, linear, nest-like structures. She likes reusing things, giving them a rebirth and the playfulness of creating forms from given shapes. She and Annali are co-creating a sculpture with a group of Key Stage 2 students from Whitehall Primary. The main art piece is constructed by Fiona, and during an afternoon workshop the students will be adding their art (created over weekly sessions with Annali) to the main sculpture.
- Peter Margerum regularly runs sculpture workshops using recycled scrap materials and objects. He is co-creating a sculpture with Year 7 and 8 students from City Academy. He is creating the structure to be completed together with the students during a day workshop.
- Jethro Brice uses found materials to elicit layered histories of place through different mediums. Through workshops and participatory art projects he develops approaches for an unsettled future and a contested past. Jethro is creating a sculpture by working collaboratively during weekly sessions with the local Barton Hill Youth group.