Creativity, Climate and Community
26th May 2021
Since 2015, when Bristol was the European Green Capital, connections between creativity, culture and climate have been deepening in the city. The creative and climate sectors are both core to Bristol’s identity and in a year when Covid has had a huge impact on the creative sector in the city, Bristol Green Capital Partnership was keen to engage local artists with its Community Climate Action project.
Community Climate Action Project: Creative Commissions
In May, Bristol Green Capital Partnership launched two Creative Commissions to help engage a diverse audience across Bristol and beyond, with community climate action and climate justice.
The aim of the creative commissions was to support the Community Climate Action project partners and champion the need for an equitable transition to zero carbon in Bristol and, more specifically, to:
- shift the debate around climate change and challenge perceptions on climate action, helping to make it relevant and accessible to diverse communities
- help communicate that ‘action on climate’ and ‘improved quality of life’ for communities are interconnected and not exclusive of one another
- help to tell real peoples’ stories / experiences to highlight and share how climate action is important and relevant to the lives of all Bristolians
- try to go beyond the simpler/obvious climate issues to help make some of the lesser-known/more abstract concepts more accessible and relatable.
We are delighted to announce the artists selected to deliver the creative commissions are:
Dee Moxon of the Lamplighters – Dee has over 20 years experience as a community artist and her work focuses on lanterns, giant puppetry, street parades and acts of Craftivism. Dee will be hosting online and in-person craftivism workshops with residents in the six communities and her project will culminate in an illuminated nighttime parade of the trees and a group tree planting.
Morgan Tipping and Tommy Chavannes – Morgan (a multidisciplinary socially engaged artist) and Tommy (an innovative filmmaker and animator), have with over 15 years’ experience of coproducing work with diverse communities and individuals. They will co-create shareable video/animation work with our six communities that explore climate and community.
Dee said “I relish the opportunity to invite Bristol to come on a craftivist adventure with me, sharing gifts to seed wellbeing and nature-kind places”.
‘We are really interested in the work that has happened so far in the six communities and excited about co-developing creative responses that connect to and resonate with audiences in Bristol and beyond.’ shared Morgan and Tommy.
Climate Artists in the Heart of BS13
Artists will also be a playing key role in the climate engagement work currently being delivered by Community Climate Action Project partners, Heart of BS13. Working with a range of schools in the Hartcliffe community, five creatives will be using their diverse art forms to encourage local children, young people and families thinking and talking about climate action in their neighbourhood. From multimedia craftivism with Alys Sapphire to music and beatboxing with Jack and Kesty of the Inexplicables; from truth sleuthing theatre with Jess Cartwright, junk modelling and carnival skills with Steph Reeves to sustainable Soft Robotics with Ruby Jennings, the community climate conversation in Hartcliffe will be a creative one. Find out more: Heart of BS13 – Our Artists.
Climate and Culture in the national lead up to COP26
Arts and culture have a crucial role to play in connecting the public with sustainability and climate action, and there is an array of creative and cultural activity currently happening across the UK in the lead up to COP26. The Arts Council and Julie’s Bicycle are leading Seasons of Change – a UK-wide cultural programme inspiring urgent and inclusive action on climate change. In June and July it will be energising artists and cultural organisations to put climate action at the heart of their programming, with a priority on centring communities and groups that have been previously underrepresented in, and excluded from conversations about culture and climate.
In Bristol, the Festival of Nature the largest free celebration of the natural world, takes place in early June, and creatives from Bristol’s Pervasive Media Studio are also exploring the environment and climate emergency: Zoe Rasbash, as part of Bristol and Bath Creative R+D, is working with the creative sector to co-develop a framework for climate action, and through his UnEarthed project creative Lukus Robbins will explore how a better understanding of soil ecosystems could help us form better approaches to tackle the environmental crisis, focusing on racial, social and economic justice.
This June also sees the launch of Bristol Museum’s Vanguard – Bristol Street Art: The Evolution of a Global Movement at the Mshed – an exhibition exploring the instrumental role of Bristol’s creatives in the development of the British Street Art scene. Alongside the exhibition, the project is launching an city-wide, community-based outreach programme, championing the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and promoting discussion and participation at the intersection of culture and sustainable action.
Continuing the Climate and Creativity Conversation
Bristol Green Capital Partnership will be further exploring the synergies between climate, culture, creativity and community at a special Green Mingle event on 2 September 2021 – more details to follow soon.
The Community Climate Action Project is kindly supported by the National Lottery Community Fund.