Striking, climate change, SUBSETStriking, climate change, SUBSET INSPIRING CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION THROUGH STRIKING VISUAL ART PROJECTS WITH THE SUBSET COLLECTIVE

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We are a collective of artists, designers, filmmakers, and curators. We are anonymous so we don’t give our personal details. We have no interest in personal plaudits, only those we can share together. Hence the collective moniker. We came together because we wanted to produce artistic works that are underpinned by social issues. The goal being to do this on a perpetually larger stage with the aim of bringing attention to matters we feel are important.

Sure, why not. It’s difficult to state whether or not the team coming together was a logical step based on our previous lives. We have broad and varied backgrounds. Who’s to say it was or wasn’t logical, we’re just happy that we did it.

We have developed the project “Climate” to confront the ugly truth that modern life is choking the earth.

One artwork will be produced in Colorado at @thecrushwalls. Another in the @RHAGallery. And the final piece in Temple Bar.

It will take a minute or two to read this but will give people the full suss on what we’re doing right now – https://store.subset.ie/pages/climate-series

We were approached by Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) at the start of 2019. This group of Irish citizens have entered legal proceedings with the Irish Government based upon their claim that they are knowingly contributing to dangerous levels of climate change.

In February of this year we painted a piece inspired by climate change in an attempt to raise awareness regarding the actions of FIE. Given the complexity and urgency of the problem we felt we needed to do more.

Shortly afterwards we painted a piece inspired by the life and work of David Attenborough, as a nod to his fight against the desecration of our planet and its wildlife. Dublin City Council have requested this piece be removed. We intend to use the disagreement to draw attention to the legal proceedings and generate support for FIE.

These projects were the catalyst for what you read below.

At present, the health & vitality of our entire ecosystem is in jeopardy. Extinction, pollution and global warming threaten the earth more than ever. Natural influences are no longer responsible for the rapid reengineering of our planet.

We have developed and designed three artworks in order to confront the ugly truth that modern life is choking the earth, whether we can see it or not. One of these artworks will be produced in Denver, Colorado at Crush Walls Festivals. Another showcased in the Royal Hibernian Academy. And the final piece on a prominent building in Temple Bar. Together these works will form a wider project titled “Climate”.

The climate issue is universal and convoluted. It cannot be tackled by any one entity alone, but instead requires a fundamental societal change. We decided to focus on one key element of climate catastrophe – plastic pollution.

THE PROBLEM

Pollution is a complex and damaging issue in our global climate. Plastic is one of the world’s most pervasive pollutants. It is a malleable and versatile material, insatiably demanded by nearly every major industry in the world. Approximately 300 million tons of plastic are manufactured each year. In brutal contrast, plastic is nearly impossible to destroy. It only breaks down, shredding into smaller pieces. This gives rise to a proliferation of tiny shards of the material, less than 5mm in length – microplastics.

Studies have emerged which indicate that microplastics ingested by marine life cause inflammation and decrease feeding, ultimately depleting energy reserves (Wieczorek et al., 2018) and killing the organism. Microplastics derived from plastic litter including bags, wrappers, packaging and fishing gear has been found in autopsied whales, porpoises and seals (Bergmann et al., 2015).

Researchers are increasingly confident about the ubiquity of microplastics in human life. The scale of global microplastic contamination is only starting to become clear, with a study published in 2017 finding microplastics in 83 per cent of tap water samples collected from around the world (Tyree and Morrison, 2017). The extent of the damage and implications is widely unknown.

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Striking, climate change, SUBSETStriking, climate change, SUBSET INSPIRING CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION THROUGH STRIKING VISUAL ART PROJECTS WITH THE SUBSET COLLECTIVE

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