‘Storm Warning’; What does climate change mean for coastal communities? – Focal Point Gallery

Published on: September 25, 2023

‘Storm Warning’, a collaboration between Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea and Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange, Penzance, seeks to raise awareness of the impact of the climate crisis on coastal communities in South Essex and Mount’s Bay, Cornwall. It will include new, innovative artworks and engagement projects by Fiona Banner, Angela YT Chan, Rebecca Chesney, Wyrd Flora, Joey Holder, Harun Morrison, Something & Sons, Heloise Tunstell-Behrens, and David Watkins. New, thought-provoking commissions will be presented simultaneously at each venue that explores issues facing the two coastlines alongside research into nature-based solutions that are relevant locally and resonate more widely.

‘The artists featured in this exhibition take a range of approaches, working with ecologists, activists, citizen scientists, marine biologists, and those working in the fishing industry. The resulting works range from the playful and immersive to projects which foreground the role artists can play as activists and strategists. We hope this exhibition will not just show the impact of the climate crisis on our locations but also highlight the change we can each make as individuals.’ James Green, Director of Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange and Katharine Stout, Director of Focal Point Gallery.

The scale of the climate crisis and the change that needs to happen to counteract its impact often seems overwhelming and out of reach to individuals, so each gallery will present a diverse range of artworks and resources that aim to inform and inspire. The two galleries share the ambition to discover the local impact of climate change and highlight ways in which we can all take action to protect our environment.
Focal Point Gallery and Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange are each located in coastal towns with important marine environments and with
dual economies of tourism and fishing. They each serve communities living through the cost-of-living crisis, alongside the pending threat of rising sea levels and unpredictable weather patterns.

Part of this initiative is to highlight work already taking place by partnering with environmental organisations such as Essex and Cornwall Wildlife Trusts, Surfers Against Sewage, The Environment Agency, and Southend City Council, with projects piloting pioneering nature-based solutions in order to reach carbon-neutral objectives in each locality. With support from the Art Fund.

Focal Point Gallery: 4th October 2023 to 6th January 2024 – Launch on Saturday 30th September
Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange, Penzance: 7th October 2023 to 6th January 2024 – Launch on Friday 6th October

Photo: Leo Scutt-Richter

About Art Fund:
Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. It provides millions of pounds every year to help museums to acquire and share works of art across the UK, further the professional development of their curators, and inspire more people to visit and enjoy their public programmes. Art Fund is independently funded, supported by Art Partners, donors, trusts and foundations and the 135,000 members who buy the National Art Pass, who enjoy free or discounted entry to over 850 museums, galleries and historic places, 50% off major exhibitions, and receive Art Quarterly magazine. Art Fund also supports museums through its annual prize, Art Fund Museum of the Year. The winner of Art Fund Museum of the Year 2022 is Horniman Museums & Gardens. www.artfund.org

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