Creative contributions and provocations at the United Nations Climate Conference in Paris are spread far and wide throughout this most cultured of cities. Organised festivals and exhibitions such as ArtCOP21 and Artists 4 Paris include exhibitions, performances, forums and workshops. Australian Artists invited to take part include Debbie Symons (ArtCOP21) and Janet Laurence (Artists 4 Paris).
Symons’ video work was launched on Sunday evening 6 December at Prodromus Gallery. Counting One to Four: Nature morte synthesises the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s findings that predict mass species extinctions as global average temperatures increase by one to four degrees above pre-industrial levels if current global trends of carbon pollution continue.
A blue globe, slowly revolving in the blackness of space, reveals changes to habitat and species distribution as temperatures rise, the earth turns brown, and red marks scribble across the surface showing where up to 52% of all mammals, reptiles, marine species, amphibians and insects could be committed to extinction by 2100.
The importance of this cultural contribution was highlighted by attendance of several Australian observers at the UN Conference, including Senator Richard Di Natale, University of Melbourne / Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute COP21 observers Robyn Eckersley, Peter Christoff and John Wiseman, and Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation CEO Catherine Brown. Also at the launch was ArtCOP21 and Cape Farewell Director David Buckland, Creative Victoria’s Fay Chomley, artist Janet Laurence, and City of Melbourne Future Melbourne 2026 Ambassador and MSSI Associate Kate Auty.