Berndnaut Smilde, Nimbus D’Aspremont, 2012, digital c-type print, 75 x 110cm. Courtesy of the artist and Ronchini Gallery, London.

ABOUT US

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."

Rachel Carson, Marine Biologist and author of Silent Spring

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 climate-concerned arts professionals, academics and activists. Founded in 2010, CLIMARTE is an independent charity registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.

COMMITTEE

Fiona Armstrong

Fiona Armstrong  works in climate and health communications, policy, research and advocacy. She 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.

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Deborah Hart (Co-Chair)

Deborah Hart is an arts-focussed activist 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 and her then young children. Deborah founded LIVE (Locals Into Victoria’s Environment, 2006) and later co-founded CLIMARTE (2010) and ClimActs (2013) to harness the creative arts and combine spectacle, humour and direct action to draw attention to the climate emergency, and the corruption causing it. 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 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.

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Jo Lane (Co-Chair)

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. 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.

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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.

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Sarah Rainbird

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.

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Giselle Wilkinson

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.

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Ambassador: Co-Founder, Former Chair & CEO of CLIMARTE, Guy Abrahams

Guy Abrahams is Co-founder, former Chair, CEO, Board Member of CLIMARTE, 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.

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Ambassador: 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).

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GALLERY TEAM

Eloise Breskvar

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.

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Rebecca Clarke

Rebecca Clarke is an arts-focused writer, currently completing her studies at Griffith University on the Gold Coast, Queensland. With a deep passion for Creative Writing and Art History/Theory, her writing aims to inspire thought provoking outcomes, highlighting the connection between the power of art and how this can influence both personal and societal change. Having studied extensively the subject Wicked Problems, Rebecca brings with her the view that a collaborative effort is at all times required to influence and maintain positive change.

In 2015, Rebecca founded the Social Media platform ArtsFunding, to draw attention to funding and residency opportunities for artists from all disciplines. Through this growing platform, her aim is to highlight the struggles that Australian artists experience in a society where their practice continues to be undervalued at a federal level.

Determined to play a role in addressing the climate crisis, she is currently completing an Internship with CLIMARTE. She is also working on her first novel of historical fiction.

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Olga Dziemidowicz

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.

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Ava Jackson

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.

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Roslyn Prato

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."

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Lily Razuki

Lily Razuki is a half Iraqi / half Australian woman who loves craft, drawing, curating and anything colourful.

Lily is currently studying Fine Art and Curating at Monash university. She has a bachelor in Visual Arts from RMIT, and did a 5 month intensive Art History, Galleries and Curating semester with Sotheby’s Institute in London.

As her studies progressed Lily realised her passion in the arts was centred around non western culture, always gravitating towards content from the Middle East, South East Asia and East Asia. She began studying History of Art and Archaeology at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) in London, feeling at home within their decolonised / eastern-centric curriculum. Having to leave the degree due to covid, Lily is now continuing her studies at Monash Caulfield.

Lily's curatorial practice is centred around finding eclectic venues to exhibit art in that are outside of the typical white cube gallery space. She has started a new project called Out of Place curating which focuses on installing art in cool and vibey places. Inspired by CLIMARTE's work, Lily is keen to explore new ways for art to engage diverse communities in important public discussions.

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