Greenhouse Britain: Losing ground, gaining wisdom
Estimates of the predicted rise in sea levels this century due to the effect of climate change on the earth’s ice caps range from one to five meters. In Britain, a rise of five meters would displace over 2 million people and flood 10,000 square kilometres of land.
Greenhouse Britain is a new exhibition by the eminent American ecological artists Helen Mayer Harrison, Newton Harrison and their British associates. This exhibition dramatically addresses the environmental, political and economic challenges of rising sea levels caused by climate change. The central feature will be a multimedia video projection onto a giant relief model of mainland Britain. We will see the waters gradually redraw the coastline.The exhibition will tour across England from November 2007 to March 2008 including venues in Devon, London, Shrewsbury, Manchester, Bristol and Lancaster. A rolling programme of events will coincide with the tour.
The Harrisons say: “Basically, the concept argues that the Greenhouse phenomenon is so urgent, so compelling in the near term, so potentially catastrophic in the long term, and so obviously destabilizing to the environment that we strongly believe the greenhouse discourse is vital and will benefit from the voice of culture. The core concept in Greenhouse Britain is a statement and a question. It is the guiding metaphor for this work‘The oceans will rise gracefully. Can we withdraw with equal grace?’“
Taking three key river watersheds, the Avon, the Mersey and the Lee in East London, the artists imagine the challenges of defending the land and withdrawing from the rising waters.http://greenhousebritain.greenmuseum.org/blog/