Earth: Art of a Changing World

• October 28, 2009 • Comments (4)
Mariele Neudecker 300 Earth: Art of a Changing World

Mariele Neudecker, "400 Thousand Generations". Courtesy the artist and Galerie Barbara Thumm. © the artist

The art of climate change is the focus of several high profile exhibitions this fall and winter. As previously reported, RETHINK: Contemporary Art and Climate Change opens in Copenhagen at the end of this month and runs through the UN Climate Change Conference there in December. Not to be outdone, London’s Royal Academy of Arts presents Earth: Art of a Changing World opening December 3 and running through the end of January.

The Royal Academy exhibition presents recent and new work from a top notch group of established and emerging contemporary artists.  Some have a long association with environmental causes and environmental art; other names on the list may be a bit of a surprise. The show is co-curated by David Buckland, director of the amazing Cape Farewell, one of the real driving forces behind the growing artistic and cultural response to climate change.

Antti Laitinen 300 Earth: Art of a Changing World

Antti Laitinen, "It's Not My Island". Image courtesy the artist and Nettie Horn, © the artist

Earth: Art of a Changing World will highlight the work of contemporary artists struggling to create meaningful human narratives out the global-scale crisis of climate change. Some works confront the issue head-on, whereas others explore ways in which climate change resonates through and influences the creative process.

Promotional material for the show describes a division of work into several thematic sections. Artists including Ackroyd & Harvey, Spencer Finch and Mona Hatoum will present work that engages directly with the earth and physical environment, while others such as Finnish artist Antti Laitinen, photographer Edward Burtynsky, Gary Hume and sculptor  David Nash will focus more on our human perceptions of the world, and our own security.

A third group including Darren Almond, Sophie Calle, Tacita Dean, Kris Martin, Studio Orta, Cornelia Parker and Shiro Takatani examine the role of the artist in examining, interpreting, and reflecting our changing world and damage being inflicted upon it.  After being confronted by a section focusing on the impacts of human behavior, a final section features works by artists and writers including Tracey Emin, Ian McEwan, Mariele Neudecker and Emma Wieslander examining how notions of beauty and permanence are being redefined by climate change–a cultural shift born out of the knowledge of what we stand to lose.

Mona Hatoum 600 Earth: Art of a Changing World

Mona Hatoum, "Hot Spot". David Roberts Collection, London. Photo Stephen White

Edward Burtynsky Earth: Art of a Changing World

Edward Burtynsky, "Super-Pit #4, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia". Courtesy Flowers, London, © The artist

Emma Wieslander Earth: Art of a Changing World

Emma Wieslander, "'Derwentwater I". Courtesy the artist, © Emma Wieslander

Tags: cape farewell, climate change, cornelia parker, david nash, earth art, edward burtynsky, Environmental Art, gary hume, harvey spencer, mariele neudecker, mona hatoum, royal academy of arts, sophie calle, spencer finch

Category: Environmental Art

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Scott Norris is a writer and publisher of artculture.com

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Comments (4)

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  1. Ashlie says:

    I believe this is a powerful way to bring attention to a contested issue. Art is an incredible medium to connect to a raw emotion that allows for openness and an ability to take a fresh look at a problem. I am amazed at the artists ability to interpret and present the issues of climate change that are real and striking.

  2. Juliet says:

    Ahhh cool exhibition – have you also seen this one by Ernesto Neto? http://www.allabouttheidea.co.uk/blog/?p=1391&b=1 – fascinating. Jules

  3. KerryFrancis says:

    Isn’t it a new fad that artist are inspired with what is happening on out planet? Change is the only constant thing in this world. How fascinating that today we get inspiration from the climate change. It a relief and breath of fresh air. Thanks for what you have posted.

  4. The art of climate change, and of the changing world is timely. I would conceive as a visionary concept that ‘MK’LEW or NK’LEW ERA ARTISTS should come together under the umbrella of THE UNITED NATIONS to CREATE a completely new art Movement that will stand up tall to right the many wrongs prevailing in our climates & environments today.

    Know all the targets!
    The woman is a vast same…
    Tomorrow’s feminine is a doubt:
    Do not give rulership to such?
    Do not limit such, however.
    The triangle of emotion beneath her
    Is lapping a cure,
    The hole of reproduction she bears
    Is the magi curve.
    The depth of a virgin is the grace to learn
    Comfort,
    And such a heart to learn
    Comes after the man is withdrawn
    From inside the vain valley.
    Do not let the dragon–fly bleed,
    The demoiselle is the moon you see.
    Tomorrow’s target of the female frame is
    Above child’s bearing,
    The level is a pure gold.

    Deasop 2011

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