Scientists Must Make Way To Artists In Explaining Climate Change

Art & Culture

The Metabolic Landscape – a new exhibition at Birmingham's City University – argues that science has entirely failed to communicate the dangers of climate change to the public. Curator Dr Geof Rayner insists it's time for artists to take up the challange.

"Science has been useless at getting us to think about energy use and climate control. Science communicates through numbers and words, which isn't always easily accessible for all," says Dr Rayner.

"Art communicates visually, through colour and feeling, it brings you into a different mode of being and touches you in a way that science is poor at doing."

Collecting together work from Gina Glover and Jessica Rayner, the exhibition features previously empty landscapes now serving the purpose of supplying energy through coal mines, oil rigs, wind turbines, gas fracking pads and nuclear power stations. The public showcase is intended as a "wakeup call" for people to realise the impact we are having on nature due to our immense demands for energy and hopes to go some way to changing our habits. 

Rayner added that the exhibition was inspired by Birmingham-educated biophysicist Alfred Lotka – the first person to predict that the future of humanity would be endangered if nature was compromised for the burning of fossil fuels, and an "unsung hero".

The Metabolic Landscape will be free and open to the public from 6 – 24 October (excluding Sundays), at Birmingham City University's Parkside Building. More on times and access can be found here, whilst more on the theme of artistic responses to climate change can be found on The Metabolic Landscape blog.