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Creating an Understanding for Climate Change through Art and Sculptural Works

At the University of Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences, Wills Memorial Building, a fascinating new exhibition using rocks to denote varying aspects and interpretations of climate change will be showcased from Wednesday 25 July.

Unstable objects... sculptural investigations into climate change. (Image credit: Artwork: @alicecunningham Photograph: @paulblakemore)

As part of the School’s EarthArt program, sculptor and artist, Alice Cunningham has been working as an artist-in-residence for the past six months. In this program, local artists are encouraged to team up with members academics on a collaborative project of art and science.

Being a visual artist with a diverse practice, Alice can sensitively work in numerous mediums. She is also ardent about materiality and concept in her work. While Alice was here, she has met many researchers from across the School of Earth Sciences, examining various aspects of climate change.

These meetings as well as the concepts discussed yielded photographic studies and drawings which made Alice to create sculptures using rocks from the wide archive collection of the University.

Having met with a range of scientists from across the school who are all looking into the many varied effects and consequences of climate change, I was given access to the Earth Sciences archive which allowed me to create a new series of sculptural works.

The artworks explore notions of unprecedented rates of change, unstable objects tipping points and the study of fractures and lines on a surface to impart information.

Alice Cunningham, Sculptor & Artist

Alice believes that this unique exhibition will promote dialogues with new audiences, trigger debates, celebrate researchers’ study, and give a fresh, artistic, external, and accessible outlook on the science behind climate change and the associated problems that emerge therefrom.

Artists have long found inspiration in the natural world around them. The EarthArt programme draws upon this long tradition by bringing together scientists and artists to investigate contemporary themes in the earth and environmental sciences.

Professor Jon Blundy, Professorial Research Fellow in Petrology & Interim Head of School of Earth Sciences

The gallery, which is located on the ground floor of the Wills Memorial Building, is open every Wednesday between 2 pm and 5 pm. Entry is free for visitors.

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