‘The role of the artist has never been more important. Artists are the beacons who help us see the light in times of devastation. Artists expose hard truths, inspire new ideas and make the future we want feel possible, tangible, and inevitable.’
At East Quay, we acknowledge the climate and ecological emergency and the role of culture in raising awareness and in giving people space to think about what it means. Our third exhibition will mark the public starting point of a long-term commitment to programming that explores a climate-conscious future. We need art now more than ever to help us navigate the future; a responsibility that East Quay Gallery will embrace.
How do we retain hope and love?
How do people and the planet come to a new settlement? How can communities and humankind interpret and navigate the tumultuous times ahead as climate crisis and adaptation take hold? Can we imagine a new order in which the needs of people and the planet living together are central, a balanced ecosystem for all species? How do we retain hope and love for what can be possible, even through the greatest adversity?
This first exhibition within our ‘climate and change’ theme, invites audiences to begin exploring these profound questions by introducing the work of artists who help us uncover and engage with a different way of being in the world. It brings alternative voices (human and otherwise) to the table, each centred in the here and now, but representing possibilities for a new future.
Three artists, each of whom works closely with scientists and climate activists, have been invited to present new works that reflect on our relationship to the earth and nature, and to give voice to the possibility that we can be better than this.
Kathy Hinde is an audio-visual artist whose practice embraces open methods and evolving processes. Through installations, performances and site specific experiences, she aims to nurture a deeper and more embodied connection to other species and the earth’s systems. Kathy frequently works in collaboration with other practitioners, scientists and often actively involves the audience in the creative process.
At East Quay, she will explore evolution as symbiosis to explore non-human species, such as lichen and algae, that offer potential for a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship with humans. She aims to create opportunities for encounters with non-human species through observational walks and durational listening processes. Her sculptural sound installation will develop via processes that allow matter to evolve and collaborate over time offering speculations on future symbiotic multi-species collaborations.
Amy Howden-Chapman is an artist and writer originally from Aotearoa—New Zealand, currently living in Brooklyn, New York. She is co-founder and editor of thedistanceplan.org, a platform that works to address the climate crisis through collaborations between artists, earth scientists, activists, and policy makers.
Along with members of the Watchet community she will perform Have You Ever Felt Overwhelmed? The Words of Climate Scientists, Activists and Journalists. This sound performance and mass reading probes how individuals who work daily on the issue of climate change reconcile the magnitude of the crisis to the reality of their individual lives. She will also present a new representation of The Apologies which explores the contours of this ubiquitous and yet powerful custom to unpack the regret, anger and sadness that colour debates over climate liability.
Liv Torc is a spoken word artist and producer who explores the human and planetary condition. In 2019 her climate change in-the-face-of-motherhood poem The Human Emergency went viral across the world. During the pandemic, Liv was commissioned a Siren Poet for Cape Farewell, looking at climate change in the time of COVID. In 2021 she and partner organisation Tongue Fu will run Hot Poets, a COP26 film project working with 12 poets and 12 science partners, including London School of Economics and the Met Office.
At East Quay, she will create a poem and film examining the role of the Earth Guardians, interviewing individuals from agriculturalists, to forest school teachers, utility engineers to climate scientists to uncover what returning to the Earth can teach us about being whole and happy.