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The Worlds of Art, Peace, Politics & Environment Unite to Present a Global Exhibition on Climate Change

Exhibition to Open on 5 June United Nations (UN) World Environment Day in Oslo, Norway Featuring 40 Artists from Around the World

OSLO/BRUSSELS/NAIROBI/SAN FRANCISCO, 28 February 2007 We are at the forefront of a new era of cultural transformation, one in which we have to take bold and unequivocal actions to create and implement cross-cultural and interdisciplinary solutions to diminish the threats posed by our Earths changing climate.

In support of the internationally coordinated campaign of research marking a new era in polar science, the International Polar Year has been established for 2007-2008. Coinciding, the theme of World Environment Day 2007 is Melting Ice Hot Topic?, while the aim of the exhibit is to focus attention on the effects of climate change, and in particular, the state of our polar ecosystems and communities.

A range of events will be staged for World Environment Day in the northern Norwegian city of Troms, known as the Gateway to the Arctic, on 3 - 4 June and culminate in Oslo on 5 June with the opening of the Envisioning Change exhibition at the Nobel Peace Center. It was in Oslo in 2004 that Wangari Maathai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace through her grassroots environmental work with the Green Belt Movement.

UNEPs agenda for World Environment Day is to give a human face to environmental issues; empower people to become active agents of sustainable development; promote an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues; and advocate partnership, which will ensure all nations and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future.

This innovative exhibition brings together 40 artists from around the world to address issues confronting our changing environment as reflected in the melting and thawing of ice, snow, and permafrost from the Himalayas to Kilimanjaro, from the Andes to the Artic.

The exhibition explores such questions as What is climate change? What are the political implications? How does sustainable development create a pathway to peace? and Why should we care? The artists and artworks provide insight and answers to these questions.

The 40 artists in Envisioning Change are diverse in both style and substance.

A sampling of artworks:

1) Norwegian artist Anne Senstad, has exhibited widely internationally, including Sao Paulo, Brazil; New York, USA; and Oslo, Norway. Since 1996 she has received grants from the Norwegian Council for Cultural Affairs and The Norwegian Photography Foundation for the Arts. In 1997, Senstad started working with light and color. Through her photography, she has investigated light, color and sound by photographing pure light sources and their environmental behavioral patterns. In this exhibit Senstads color circles in Essence of Light are expanding and contracting, as in the melting or solidifying of ice. The works incorporate the circular poles of the globe; the purity of water and ice; and the melting ice of the polar caps. The viewer experiences the work as if looking through ice.

2) Canadian born artist Robert Bateman is one of the worlds foremost artists depicting the natural world. Since the 1960s Bateman has been an advocate of the environment on a global scale, earning him numerous awards including Officer of the Order of Canada (the countrys highest civilian award), the Rachel Carson Award, and he was named one of the 20th Centurys Champions of Conservation by the US National Audubon Society. His works are in the private collections of HRH The Prince Charles, HRH The Prince Philip, HRH The late Princess Grace of Monaco, HRH Bernhard, and the Prince of the Netherlands. In this exhibit Batemans painting, Antarctic Evening Humpback Whales, demonstrates his mastery of capturing the majesty and intricacy of nature.

3) Chris Jordan is one of the leading artists bridging art and the environment in the United States. Jordan has already had numerous solo exhibitions and has participated dozens of group exhibits. He has been featured in several high profile magazines and received numerous awards for his photography. For this exhibit, Jordan created an image that depicts 24,000 GMC "Denali" SUV logos, which represents six weeks of sales for that model. In Denali/Denial, the logos are arranged into a mosaic mirroring Ansel Adams famous photograph of Mt. McKinley in Denali National Park, Alaska. Half of the Denali logos are changed to read "Denial."

Artists from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Serbia, USA, Spain, England, Peru, Croatia, Wales, New Zealand, Japan, Argentina and more, are participating in Envisioning Change, including Fred Ivar Utsi Klemetsen, Jonas Liverod, Laura Horelli, Lucy Orta, Mona Hatoum, Subhankar Banerjeree, David Nash, Dalibor Martinis, David Buckland, Yoshiaki Kaihatsu, David Trubridge, Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison, Gary Hume, David and Hi-Jin Hodge, and dozens more.

The goal of this exhibition is to present a unique opportunity that utilizes the universal language of art as a catalyst to peacefully unite people in action and thought and to empower individuals, communities, and leaders to focus on environmental values across social, economic, and political realms.

The exhibition will open at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo on 5 June and be on display until 20 August 2007, then travel to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels from September through December 2007, and on to Chicago in the United States in 2008.


United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said: The findings in the 2 February 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirm the science of human-induced climate change. These findings should strengthen the resolve of people to act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and put in place the medium to longer term strategies necessary to avert dangerous climate change.

Norwegian Ministry of Environment

Minister Helen Bjrny expressed that Art has the power to express the close ties between human nature and our natural surroundings, making it a powerful agent of increased environmental awareness.

Nobel Peace Center

This is an important exhibition for the Nobel Peace Center. It clearly shows how the climate changes we are all surrounded by have direct impact on world security, and therefore on peace. The wide variety of artistic expressions on display effectively states that the earths climate affects all of us said Bente Erichsen, Director, Nobel Peace Center.

Mankind's universal values of love, compassion, solidarity, caring and tolerance should form the basis for this global ethic which should permeate culture, politics, trade, religion and philosophy. It should also permeate the extended family of the United Nations said Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Wangari Maathai.

Natural World Museum

We are taking action to encourage positive trends in society by utilizing art as a catalyst to generate new perspectives that inspire social and environmental solutions states Mia Hanak, the Founding Executive Director of the Natural World Museum.

The intent of the show is to both engage and educate, said Randy Jayne Rosenberg, the exhibitions curator. The traveling art exhibition seeks to reach millions of people in an effort to make a lasting contribution to the global dialogue around our environment in peril and inspire individuals to reflect on their attitudes and actions.




Further Resources

Preview of the Exhibition

UNEP Art for the Environment Website

World Environment Day 2007

International Polar Year

UNEP Resources on Climate Change

Natural World Museum (NWM)

Nobel Peace Center


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