Arts for a safe climate – in Australia

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

climarte-frontdumpWhat are the Australians doing in the field of arts and sustainability? CLIMARTE is an Australian organisation which has set out to “harness the creative power of the arts to inform, engage and inspire action on climate change”, and their April 2013 newsletter gives you a good introduction to the numerous arts activities in the country which are dealing with issues of sustainability or climate change:


Newsletter from Climarte – Arts for a Safe Climate

Fiona Hall: Big Game Hunting
One of Australia’s most prominent contemporary artists, Fiona Hall is best known for extraordinary works that transform commonplace materials into vital organic forms with both contemporary and historical resonances. This trans-disciplinary survey exhibition at Heide Museum of Modern Art highlights her recent practice and her continuing focus on the relationship between nature and culture.

The exhibition includes trophy-style sculptures of endangered species from the International Conservation Union’s ‘Red List’, rendered in military camouflage and embellished with recycled items from contemporary culture, and a series of stunning bark-cloths, video and sculptural pieces inspired by a 2011 expedition to the unique marine environment of the Kermadec Trench on the Pacific Rim of Fire. This is a thought provoking and eerily beautiful exhibition — not to be missed!
At Heide Museum of Modern Art until 21 July 2013.


Carbon Arts at Sydney Windmill
The Rocks Windmill will be host to the ElectriCITY Sparks program, which sees a windmill as the platform for exploring creative responses to our collective energy future, demanding an examination of history, community, and sustainability.

ElectriCITY Sparks focuses on energy efficiency, a journey that everyone of us can embark upon, and calls upon the creative sector and the creative in all of us to make this journey fun, rewarding and effective.

Over a week from 6-12 May, Carbon Arts will be putting on a film night, an exhibition, a panel session with leading industry, government, artist and community members, a gadget demo of all manner of home energy management devices from the kooky to the collaborative and a Hacker workshop for DIY and energy enthusiasts.

Most events are free, but need to be booked. Visit or click on the links below for details on each event.

May 6-12 (9am-5pm): ElectriCITY Sparks Community Eco-Viz Exhibition
May 8 (5.30-8pm): ElectriCITY Sparks Panel Discussion
May 11 and 12 (2-4pm): ElectriCITY Sparks Gadget Demo
May 11 (3.30-6.30pm): ElectriCITY Sparks Maker Workshop
May 12 (6-8pm): ElectriCITY Sparks Film Night

Location: The Rocks Square, Sydney
Start date: 6 May 2013
End date: 12 May 2013
Price: mostly free

Presented by the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, Media Lab and Carbon Arts. Most events FREE, but places are limited so book to avoid disappointment.


Climate Guardians
Climate Guardians are a political theatre troupe formed in response to insufficient Government action on increasingly alarming findings by climate scientists that we are fast approaching a ‘tipping point’ after which we will not be able to avert catastrophic climate change.

“We follow the practice of civil disobedience and all our actions and interventions are non-violent.” Check out some of the Climate Guardian’s latest actions


Thin Ice
Visit researchers on four continents and the ocean as they study the changes in the atmosphere, oceans and ice sheets through measurements (from instruments, satellites, ice and rock) and computer modelling.

They talk about their work, and their hopes and fears, with a rare candour and directness, creating an intimate portrait of the global community of researchers racing to understand our planet’s changing climate.  View on-line, or arrange a public screening.
Film Search
Environmental Film Festival Melbourne 2013 is looking for films highlighting the impacts of society on the environment, or the impacts of the environment on society. EFFM will consider all submissions and select films for presentation at EFFM 2013. Entries close 31 May 2013. You can get the submission form here.

Petition: Paid to Pollute
Australians are encouraged to tell the Federal Treasurer and their local MPs to stop Australia’s $10 billion annual handout to big fossil fuel polluters.

Money to Australian arts student’s study in the US
The American Friends of the National Gallery of Australia Inc., in conjunction with the American Australian Association, is offering a scholarship for an Australian graduate or post graduate student of the Fine Arts or Curatorial Studies wishing to further their studies in the United States. The AusArt Fellowship is for up to US$ 30,000 a year. More information here.


Digital Change Makers
The Collaboratory are looking for four passionate change makers to undergo an eight week intensive training program provided by some of Australia’s leading digital change makers.

Gain skills and experience in order to co-create strategy, build websites, communicate online and use social media to build movements of positive change.

Apprenticeships start on 13 May 2013. Applications close: 3 May 2013.


“We need a big movement, and big movements come from beauty and meaning, not columns of statistics.”
Bill McKibben

Climarte writes on their home page:
“The arts can be a catalyst for change. Those who work, live and play in the arts represent all that is creative, imaginative and hopeful in humanity. It is time for us to engage with our communities and our leaders, our peers and our audiences. It is time to let them know that we will act, and that we expect them to act on this threat to humanity and our world. It is time to have our voices heard on climate change.”

You can subscribe to CLIMARTE’s newsletter here:

CLIMARTE’s postal address is:
P.O.Box 2429 Richmond South
Victoria 3121 AUSTRALIA


Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.

The Cultural sector that we refer to is an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-genre collaboration, which encompasses policy-making, intercultural dialogue/cultural relations, creative cities/cultural planning, creative industries and research and development. It is those decision-makers and practitioners who can reach people in a direct way, through diverse messages and mediums.

Affecting the thinking and behaviour of people and communities is about the dissemination of stories which will profoundly impact cultural values, beliefs and thereby actions. The stories can open people’s eyes to a way of thinking that has not been considered before, challenge a preconceived notion of the past, or a vision of the future that had not been envisioned as possible. As a sector which is viewed as imbued with creativity and cultural values, rather than purely financial motivations, the cultural sector’s stories maintain the trust of people and society.
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