Berndnaut Smilde, Nimbus D’Aspremont, 2012, digital c-type print, 75 x 110cm. Courtesy of the artist and Ronchini Gallery, London.
CLIMARTE harnesses the creative power of the arts to inform, engage and inspire action on the climate crisis. Bringing together a broad alliance from across the arts, humanities and sciences, CLIMARTE advocates for immediate, effective and creative action to restore a climate capable of sustaining all life.
"The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction."
HOW WE WORK
Think. Question. And most importantly, act on the Climate Emergency. CLIMARTE collaborates with a wide range of artists, art professionals, and scientists to produce compelling programs for change. Through festivals, events and interventions, we invite those who live, work and play in the arts to join us and champion the health and wellbeing of all inhabitants on Earth.
WHY WE DO IT
Human induced global warming poses enormous risks to our world. Biodiversity and habitat loss, food and water insecurity, and natural disasters increasingly plague our warming planet. Now more than ever, creative voices are required to act as powerful change makers. Together we can galvanise humanity’s collective will, and lead the way to a safe, prosperous, and equitable future.
WHO WE ARE
CLIMARTE is governed by a Committee and operated by a management team of voluntary arts professionals, academics and activists. Founded in 2010, CLIMARTE is an independent charity registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.
OUR STRATEGIC PLAN
To harness the power of the arts to communicate the Climate Emergency in all its manifestations thus mobilising the public to demand immediate effective action; a transition to zero emissions while at the same time drawing down legacy carbon at emergency scale and speed, before 2030.
To increase the amount of climate focussed and socially engaged art with which to inform and inspire the public; raising awareness about the causes and readily available solutions for the Climate Emergency while elevating the role of the Arts and creative workers as powerful change makers in society.
Read CLIMARTE’s full Strategic Plan (5 page pdf)Our Strategic Plan
Deborah Hart, Chair
Deborah Hart is a climate and environment focussed creative producer and writer based in Narrm (Melbourne). After 16 years working in development roles with leading Australian arts and culture organisations—as increasingly neoliberal government policies were forcing important public organisations to form ever-closer alliances with harmful industries—Deborah left her profession in order to devote more time to climate activism. Deborah founded LIVE (Locals Into Victoria’s Environment, 2006) and later co-founded CLIMARTE (2010) and ClimActs (2013) to harness the power of creative arts and ‘performative’ action to highlight the causes and urgency of the Climate Emergency as well as the readily available and socially and ecologically sustainable solutions. Deborah is the author of Guarding Eden: Champions of Climate Action (Allen & Unwin, 2015) which tells inspiring personal stories showing how and why highly destructive, polluting industries that built immense wealth and influence last century are now using that power recklessly to maintain ‘business as usual’ (protect their profits), and the inspiring actions ordinary citizens are taking to safeguard nature and humanity’s future.
Artwork in the background by Kent Morris, Barkindji Blue Sky – Ancestral Connections #9, 2020, giclee print on rag paper. 100 x 150 cm, Edition of 5 + 2AP. Courtesy of Vivien Anderson Gallery.
Jo Lane is a Melbourne-based artist who uses images as language in various media; drawing, animation, sculpture, film, and photography, to probe ideas of identity, dislocation, and social responsibility. Jo was Creative Producer for two exhibitions at the recently opened CLIMARTE Gallery: HEAR, contemporary indigenous artists’ work about climate change on Country and FIRE, artists work in response to personal experience with bushfire. She has also managed successful delivery of public forums associated with these as well as CLIMARTE’s latest Poster Project. She commenced her creative career in both television and interactive media and was instrumental in numerous environmental and social not for profit projects, giving her time and expertise to realise communications. She is a Williamson Leadership Fellow and has sat on the board of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. After years of training both here and in the UK completing a Masters of Fine Art, Drawing, Jo now conducts a full time art practice. This commenced with her love of nature in botanical work many years ago and has culminated in contemporary drawing and sculpting.
Sarah McConnell (Treasurer)
Sarah McConnell is an artist, cartoonist and climate activist living and working on Wurundjeri country. She has been the Program Manager at the Sustainable Living Foundation, programming the 2020 National Climate Emergency Summit and the Festival’s 2019 Big Weekend. Sarah is a founding member of 5 Press (2015), a collective of five artists exploring the artist book through printmaking and traditional bookbinding techniques. Her books are collected by the National Library of Australia and State Library of Victoria. Sarah’s cartoons have been published in Meanjin and Going Down Swinging. She has worked with CLIMARTE for several years as a both a volunteer and exhibiting artist in ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2019.
Sarah Rainbird is a senior management professional with over 22 years of experience, including philanthropy, business development and stakeholder relationship management, teaching, research, project management and corporate law.
As a strategic, analytical, people focussed leader, Sarah has a proven ability to drive strong income growth, build authentic relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, and lead and inspire individual performance. She is highly adaptable to changing environments and motivated by creativity, continuous improvement, excellence and supporting others to maximise their potential.
Gomathi Suresh is an Indian-Australian visual artist, working mostly with ceramics. Currently in her final year of the MFA program at the RMIT in Melbourne, her studio practice has been increasingly reflective of socio-ecological subject matter and marginalised language-culture. The objects she makes explore the materiality of clay as both the alchemical form and surface. Her work references the entropic volatility in kiln atmospheres that hand-built ceramic forms are exposed to, during their firing process, providing metaphorical allusions to the unpredictability of current climate crises and the erasure of marginalised ecologies in the context of neo-colonial hierarchies.
Thought leader, writer and social innovator, researcher and author of ‘Mobilising Whole Communities to Restore a Safe Climate’, Giselle has recently been awarded a Professional Doctorate in Therapeutic Arts Practice.
Giselle helped instigate the much needed National Centre for Climate Restoration with the first of its truth-telling Breakthrough Forums in 2014 and is currently Breakthrough’s Outreach Director. Co-founding The Sustainable Living Foundation in 1999 and still serving as SLF’s President, Giselle was a key part of the decision to run Australia’s first Global Climate Emergency Convergence in 2007. She again helped to break constructed silences, by supporting the Climate Emergency Summit as a cutting edge, landmark event in the 2020 National Sustainable Living Festival.
Guy Abrahams is a Co-founder, former Chair, CEO, and Committee Member of CLIMARTE, Co-Creative Producer of ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE Festivals (2015 and 2017), and Director of the ART + ENVIRONMENT consultancy. Guy is an Associate of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute and a valuer for the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program. He was recently Chair of the City of Melbourne’s Art & Heritage Collection Advisory Panel and a member of the Public Art Advisory Panel.
Guy was a lawyer before becoming Director of Christine Abrahams Gallery, one of Australia’s leading commercial art galleries. He was President of the Australian Commercial Galleries Association, and Board member of the Melbourne Art Fair and the National Gallery of Victoria Art Foundation.
In 2009 he completed a Master of Environment (climate change politics & policy) at the University of Melbourne and received climate communications training from US Vice President Al Gore. Guy is an active advocate for urgent action on climate change.
Fiona Armstrong is a Co-Founder and former Committee Member of CLIMARTE. She works in climate and health communications, policy, research and advocacy. Fiona has a background as a health professional, journalist, in public policy analysis and advocacy. She is a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development, and Founder and Executive Director of the Climate and Health Alliance. Fiona is the author of a number of seminal publications on climate, energy and health including Our Uncashed Dividend: The Health Benefits of Climate Action, published by the Climate and Health Alliance and The Climate Institute, and Coal and Health in the Hunter: Lessons from One Valley for the World. Fiona was named one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence (2016), won the Tony McMichael Award for leadership on health and the environment (2017), the Frank Fisher Award (2018), and the ProBono Impact 25 Award (2022).
Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty
For over 50 years, Peter Doherty has dedicated his life to science with a vision to improve global health, well-being and prosperity. He is one of Australia’s most highly respected scientists and the namesake and Patron of the recently opened Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, at the University of Melbourne.
In 1996, Professor Doherty and his Swiss colleague Rolf Zinkernagel were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering how the immune system recognises virus-infected cells. Professor Doherty is a passionate advocate on the need to tackle climate change and the role the arts can play in bringing about a shift in our broader cultural attitude to this issue.
Professor Doherty is the author of several books, including: The Knowledge Wars (2015), Sentinel Chickens: What Birds Tell Us About Our Health And Our World (2012), A Light History of Hot Air (2007) and The Beginners Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize (2005).
Professor David Karoly
David Karoly is an honorary Professor in the School of Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and an honorary Senior Research Fellow in Melbourne Climate Futures, having retired from CSIRO at the end of January 2022. He is an internationally recognised expert on climate change and climate variability.
Professor Karoly was Leader of the Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub in the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program, based in CSIRO, during 2018 to June 2021. During 2012-2017, he was a member of the Climate Change Authority, which provides advice to the Australian government on responding to climate change, including targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He was involved in the Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2001, 2007, 2014 and 2021 in several different roles. He was awarded the 2015 Royal Society of Victoria Medal for Scientific Excellence in Earth Sciences and elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2019.
From 2007 to February 2018, David Karoly was Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Melbourne and in the A.R.C. Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science. From 2003 to 2007, he held the Williams Chair in the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma.
Annie is a passionate Doctor of Creative Arts. Her practice focuses on discarded textiles, locality, plant materials and on small bookmaking. Annie takes every opportunity to bring climate matters into conversation in community settings. She’s had a rich and diverse career based on skills in community engagement and facilitation. Her book Death, a love project is based on long experience helping people to plan and prepare for end of life. She has also worked in sustainability-focused roles, teaching, researching and managing programs at the University of Melbourne and in the Victorian Government. Prior to undertaking her doctorate, based on fieldwork during an Australia Council for the Arts fellowship, Annie worked with communities as a writer and visual artist for over 20 years.
Eloise is a postgraduate researcher at the University of Melbourne, and works as an Educator and Access Coordinator at ACCA.
Eloise’s MA thesis is investigating the potential for state art galleries to engage with climate change through thematic exhibitions. She is also currently leading the sustainability working group at ACCA. Attending public programs at CLIMARTE’s ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2019 festival is what inspired Eloise to focus her research on art and climate change.
Daniella has a background in environmental science and a passion for art and environmental and science communication.
While working in education, Daniella is completing studies in conservation biology, ecology and earth sciences to better understand our earth and living things. She hopes to use her science background to consciously approach environmental matters and projects and bridge the gap between science and society.
She has been volunteering in STEM, environmental and community groups over the past several years and loves connecting with people.
CLIMARTE’s focus aligns deeply with Daniella’s passions and values and she is excited to actively contribute toward CLIMARTE’s initiatives and vision.
Olga is a Polish-born, Melbourne-based visual artist. She has a Master’s of Architecture and Urban planning, as well as experience in service and strategic design, corporate consulting and startups. In 2018 she found her way back to her true passion; art, and is currently focusing full time on art related practices and projects. She’s continuing her education at the VCA and offers live event painting services to bring the creative process from the studio closer to the people. She’s passionate about self-development and the natural world, and through her energetic landscape paintings she wants to express freedom and appreciation of the natural environment, and play a role in addressing the climate crisis.
Esther is currently a first year uni student studying a Bachelor of Arts at Monash. She has been a passionate climate activist since the age of thirteen, starting with ClimActs. She was an early participant of the powerful School Strike 4 Climate Change social movement and is an organiser with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) Naarm team.
Esther hopes to one day make a positive difference for her community by becoming a member of parliament, and using her voice to demand greater climate action/justice for all those effected by the crisis now and into the future. Convinced of the power of art and creativity, Esther really appreciates CLIMARTE’s unique approaches to the Climate Emergency.
Ava Jackson has completed her Bachelor of Arts with Honours from the University of Melbourne. Ava’s Honours thesis examined local level climate finance in Australia with a focus on community-based philanthropy. Throughout this degree Ava paired her passions for the arts and climate action which she is now able to bring to her volunteer role at the CLIMARTE Gallery. Ava is commencing a Juris Doctor at the University of Melbourne in 2022 to be able to further her work in this space.
Nancy has been playing with artistic pursuits and a love of the natural world since childhood. She has been a dancer, performer, teacher, painter, participated in group and solo exhibitions, run local artistic environmental community engagement projects, has an Honours Degree in Visual Art from Monash University, and been an allied health worker. Nancy belongs to a Yalukit-willam (River dwellers, Altona) Friends group engaged in citizen science and plantings.
A career Educator, since 2014, Roslyn has been volunteering at Heide Museum of Modern Art as an Education Tour Guide and Workshop Facilitator. During the school year she presents guided tours and workshop activities for Pre-school, F-12 and tertiary students.
Roslyn is deeply interested in the intersection between traditional cultures of the Wurundjeri People and Australian modernist art and architecture. She feels that listening to Elders talk about their connections to Country has been a humbling experience and continues to broaden her understanding of the land.
CLIMARTE’s focus on the current environmental crisis aligns with Roslyn’s values. She is “excited to be part of a holistic community through on-going collaboration with the CLIMARTE team and the promotion of contemporary artists.”