This evening I went to an Arts & Ecology event (organised by the RSA) to announce the launch of an Arts & Ecology Day (the first one will be next year, 2009). The event was held at City Hall – it’s such a brilliant building (and eco-friendly with solar panels on the roof) – I would have gone just for the canapes, wine, and the wonderful view of the city from the top floor! (The photo on the right is of the amazing spiral staircase). But the event itself, while short, was very thought-provoking.
There were a whole range of speakers from all kinds of different organisations working within the arts industries, aiming to introduce more environmentally friendly ways of working, or to just encourage creativity and provoke thought on environmental issues. What really came across from all of the speakers was how the role of art as a tool to communicate the issue of climate change, but also to inspire, is so important. It’s such a huge daunting problem that being able to inspire and empower people to take action is crucial. And while I do get tired of endless meetings discussing that climate change is a problem, but not actually doing anything, people have to be motivated or inspired to act, and art can be a catalyst for that.
There was some great music from Marmaduke Dando and his band too – I’m not convinced that ’s his real name! – but at any rate, he curates a “Powerdown” evening, a music type event without electricity, held in a converted church just off Holloway Road. It sounds pretty cool.
All this (and a glass of wine) made me wonder what I could do. Ok, I’m a member of my local Friends of the Earth group and I’ve been to conferences, talks and even theatrical plays about climate change, but I feel like I could do more than just sit and listen to other people. I’d love to help organise some kind of local arts/environmental event, maybe an exhibition or a music evening, it could be exciting and not impossible?! Watch this space…and if you have any ideas, suggestions or can help let me know!