British Council and Julie's Bicycle launch Long Horizons

Added on 12th Feb 2010

On Monday February 15, Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, will today launch Long Horizons, a series of essays debating the impact of climate change on the work of policy makers, scientists and artists at an event hosted by the British Council and Julie’s Bicycle.

Long Horizons, written by Antony Gormley, KT Tunstall, Jay Griffiths, Professor Diana Liverman and Professor Tim Jackson, was commissioned by the British Council as part of an ongoing programme, Arts, Climate Change and Sustainability, aimed at harnessing the inspirational qualities of the arts to demystify and energise the debate about climate change.

Climate change is one of the defining issues of the age with far-reaching impacts on all aspects of our lives as well as upon the natural environment. It will affect everyone on the planet, though differences in infrastructures and localities will profoundly influence vulnerability. The challenge of climate change is international and inter-connected in nature and any attempt to create change needs to happen regardless of national boundaries, and on a global scale. As the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations, the British Council is uniquely placed to mobilise global networks, bring people together to find common purpose and to find ways to encourage debate and concerted action.

Rebecca Walton, Director Arts, British Council said:
“Art helps make our society more comprehensible to those outside it and as such is a powerful addition to any cultural relations work based on mutual understanding and shared interest. Arts and artists can help move the climate change agenda from intellectual understanding to emotional engagement, and then on to action. Together we can strengthen the understanding of the need for action, of the role that artists can play in the fight against climate change, and of the need to support and encourage that role.”

Alison Tickell, Director, Julie’s Bicycle said:
“These very personal reflections bring together artists grappling with science, and scientists looking to the arts so that disciplinary distinctions blur and the human perplexities of climate change –  responsibilities, uncertainties, hopes and actions – are shared. We hope that others will empathise, and perhaps be inspired by the convergence of inspiration and commitment evident in these pieces.”

Long Horizons is one of a series of initiatives stemming from Arts, Climate Change and Sustainability. The programme also looks to support art which engages with the issue of climate change, share sustainable working practices coming out of the UK and encourage the development of international strategies that support artists working in this arena.

The collection will be launched on Monday February 15th. Antony Gormley's essay appears in the Guardian Review on Februaury 13th.