Gallery initiatives invite us to talk about climate through outstanding art

Artist Mike Perry in a Q&A at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery's Creative Cabin

Artist Mike Perry in a Q&A at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery's Creative Cabin - Credit: Simon Tutty

Honiton’s award-winning Thelma Hulbert Gallery and East Devon District Council have launched their climate campaign – Climate Conversations –with a new programme of events.

The programme opened with a major new multi-site exhibition of the work of artist Mike Perry at THG in Honiton and at Ocean in Exmouth, offering a packed roadshow of Climate Conversations activities and events this summer from THG's Creative Cabin.

To mark the launch, artist Mike  led a captivating Q&A session from the Creative Cabin in the THG garden. Mike shared his research and discussed his practice through works in his exhibition, highlighting degradation of ecosystems on land and in our oceans.

The programme continues with ‘Mike Perry in Conversation’ on 1 July in Exmouth. It promises to be an insightful discussion between artist, Mike Perry, and guest speaker Ben Borthwick, reflecting on the themes in Perry's current exhibition: Mike Perry Land/Sea.

Mike's work engages with pressing environmental issues, in particular the tension between human interventions in the natural environment, and the fragility of the planet’s ecosystems. His work has been included in The Black and White Room at The Royal Academy of Arts, curated by artist Cornelia Parker. Mike Perry has also exhibited at the Venice Biennale and in 2015, received a Creative Wales Award from the Arts Council of Wales. Ben Borthwick is Head of Creative Programme at KARST Creative Arts Space, Plymouth and an independent curator and writer.

The first in a series of Climate Conversations events will take place in Sidmouth on 18 July co-hosted by THG and Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub (SCCH)
THG's Creative Cabin and SCCH's hub at the Shed in the Fisherman's yard in Sidmouth will host a talk and book signing with writer, broadcaster and marine biologist Helen Scales. The July event will include art activities, including a pot making demo with Dave French from East Devon Withy Pots, as well as music, a bar and fish baps from Sidmouth Trawlers. 

Climate Conversations brings together local activists and project groups, with academics and artists specialising in these fields. This inspiring programme of talks and art activities will take place in towns across East Devon including Honiton, Axminster, Exmouth and Sidmouth throughout the summer. They will reflect on four key themes: Nature, Food, Energy and Reduce/Reuse/Recycle.
The Creative Cabin will be also out and about delivering outdoor activities and workshops to schools, colleges and community/family groups across East Devon and in the THG garden.

East Devon District Councillor Denise Bickley, Assistant Portfolio Holder Climate Action and Emergency Response, said:  "I am so delighted with this exhibition and the partnership work we at East Devon District Council are doing with SCCH, among others. Strengthening the ties between our wonderful local organisations makes the climate emergency message so much more effective. I hope that many meaningful conversations will be able to take place inspired by this work and the resources that have been produced alongside it.
"I can certainly confirm that it inspired some very interesting discussions when I was lucky enough to attend the opening of Mike Perry's thought-provoking photography exhibition and listen to him talk, at the beautiful Ocean building in Exmouth."

Climate Conversations has been developed against the context of East Devon District Council’s commitment to Devon’s Climate Change Emergency declaration and Exeter University's declaration of an environment and climate emergency.
Climate Conversations is funded by East Devon District Council and Art Council England.

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