ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE Festival 2015: A marriage of art, culture and science

ART, science and culture come together for Melbourne’s first ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE festival with a variety of free art and culture exhibitions for students to get involved with. Emily Umstad has more. 

Christian Thompson, I’m not going anywhere without you, 2009

Melbourne’s first ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE festival has kicked off with a variety of free art and culture exhibitions for students to get involved with.

It’s a fresh approach to tackling what some would regard as “old news”. The festival, which is on now until May 17, provides a space where art, science and culture come together to bring to life the many issues the world is facing with the climate crisis.

For Climarte chief executive and event founder Guy Abrahams, the natural relationship between art and the environment is clear.

“We have known about climate change for the past 20 years but… we need to understand climate change in more than just a empirical way. We need an emotional connection to make people motivated to change, art allows us to engage in an emotional way,” says Abraham.

He spent time researching and found a lot of artists were involved in projects to do with global warming, but they were all “isolated” events. A festival bringing together artists and their various projects, he thought, would offer the public something much more “engaging, inspiring and motivating”.

He hopes the event will allow people to become aware that climate change affects everyone in the community, and says art provides a “neutral space to contemplate this idea”.

Students can take part in exhibitions, forums, bike tours and motivational talks from international environmental scientists and local artists.

And for those wondering where to begin, here are a few shows you might like to check out – all free!

 The Maldives Exodus Caravan Show

 The Maldives Exodus Caravan Show

Source: Supplied

When: April 20-24, April 27 – May 17

Where: Federation Square, Amphitheatre, Flinders Street, Melbourne

What: Danish artist Soren Dahlgaard brings his island caravan to Melbourne and sheds light on challenges facing low-lying islands like Vanuatu and the Maldives. Inside the caravan there is plenty to discover with videos, music, games and talks being held daily.

Amy Balkin: Public Smog

Amy Balkin: Public Smog

Photo: Supplied

When: April 11 – 10 May 10 (9am-5pm weekdays, 12-5pm weekends)

Where: Ian Potter Museum of Art at the Melbourne School of Design,
 Andrew Li King Fun Gallery, Ground floor, Building 133, Spencer Rd, The University of Melbourne

What: American Artist Amy Balkin is pushing to get the Earth’s atmosphere protected by the world heritage list. Balkin will be presenting a series of talks about the process of presenting the legal documents to Australian representatives.


Jamie North, Portal II, 2014

When: March 31 – July 12 (9am-5pm weekdays, 12pm-5pm weekends)

Where: Ian Potter Museum of Art at the Melbourne School of Design, Ground Level, Building 133, Spencer Rd, The University of Melbourne

What: An exhibition by international and local artists showcasing the beauty of nature and what we have to lose from global warming.


For more information about the festival as well as the full program, visit

You can also stay up-to-date by following the festival on Facebook, Twitter as well as Instagram




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