Artist announcement - Climate Action Programme at GHT

We’re pleased to announce a compelling new visual arts programme for 2023 exploring the major theme of Climate Action.

Through a series of thought-provoking exhibitions and community projects, ‘a space’ arts has developed an exciting programme of activities created in response to their ongoing commitment to raising awareness of the climate emergency. Acknowledging the need for collective and collaborative approaches to climate action, audiences will be invited to contribute to the dialogue on how we address these important issues.

Having invited Expressions of Interest in 2022 from visual artists and practitioners, the team received an overwhelming response from artists locally, nationally, and internationally, proposing a wide range of thought-provoking ideas exploring prominent environmental issues and concerns. Following a challenging selection process, ‘a space’ arts are pleased to have selected Iranian multimedia artist Bijan Moosavi to exhibit at ‘a space’ arts flagship arts and heritage venue, the award-winning God’s House Tower, in summer 2023. As part of this exciting upcoming programme, Moosavi will create an immersive installation. GHT.2058: Asylo-جنّت will explore the effects of climate change and imagine a speculative future of our planet, and GHT specifically, in the year 2058.

On the commission, artist Bijan Moosavi said: “I am very pleased to be selected for this commission and I can’t wait to summon the wandering souls of the historic God’s House Tower, through an immersive installation which will submerge the viewer in a fictional near-future climate dystopia created by neoliberal negligence and greed.”

As part of the wider Climate Action programme taking place in 2023, audiences will also be invited to take part in a series of artistic and educational workshops and activities led by artists Lizzie Jones and Harry Meadows. The workshops will look to facilitate the dialogue on pertinent climate and environmental issues, whilst fostering an active space for collective learning through creative practice and speculative thinking.  

Harry Meadows will create a Climate Action Observatory for the Southampton area. The Observatory is a repository for a collection of interviews, videos, sound compositions and animations co-produced with local communities. These artworks will be generated through regular site visits and workshops with Southampton’s community gardens, and then with other sporting and hobby groups who also find novel ways to sense their environment in experiential, physical and social ways. An observatory website will be a repository for the engaging artworks that show the diverse ways local residents make sense of climate at a human scale.

Lizzie Jones of Puppet Back Up will facilitate a series of community group-led workshops developing focused performative creative action.

“Puppet Back Up is motivated to activate over social political situations and in presenting the ridiculousness of homemade paper and cardboard puppets, challenge the powers that be – in ways that people alone cannot. There is a presence and power to giant puppets which we puppeteers back up. In the sessions, participants will work with difficult issues, through creativity and play to have a voice, and through participation to become more empowered and confident whilst learning collectively how change can become possible when we become active together.”

The Climate Action Programme will launch in spring 2023. Bijan Moosavi’s exhibition will open at GHT in summer 2023 and will be a standout exhibition for the South Coast’s flourishing visual arts scene. More details will be shared in spring 2023.