Images of climate change usually depict polar ice caps or parched deserts. But climate change is happening here and it’s happening now - if you’re in any doubt, Exposed: Climate Change in Britain’s Backyard will really bring it home. Working with Magnum Photos, eight of the UK’s top photographers were commissioned by the National Trust to capture the consequences of climate change in Britain.
The power, and importance, of this exhibition lies in its images (90 in all) which bring to life the facts, figures and predictions that normally accompany climate change concerning sea level rises, extreme storms, increased rainfall, milder winters and hotter summers. Coastal flooding and erosion (which already threatens over 1 million homes in England and Wales) becomes all the more real, and disturbing, when you see a flooded Norfolk village, as depicted in Ian Berry’s 'LIVING WITH FLOODS'.
From Stuart Franklin’s sublime stormy Cornish seascapes to an everyday scene that almost anyone living in Britain can relate to: Chris Steele-Perkins' 'HEADING FOR COVER', showing beach-goers fleeing a cloud-burst in Dorset, these images act as a visual record of the changes that are happening now.
If seeing the effects of climate change on our coastline, landscape, trees, wildlife and houses creates a feeling of unease, it’s also worth mentioning that the majority of the images are stunning in their own right. Many were shot on National Trust land and seen through the eyes of top photographers, captured on film and exhibited in a gallery, the intrinsic beauty of nature shines through above all else - which makes protecting it all the more worthwhile.
EXPOSED: Climate Change in Britain’s Backyard will tour the UK throughout 2007, as follows:
Hoopers Gallery, Clerkenwell, London: 12 April – 11 May 2007
Nottingham Castle, Nottingham: 19 May – 1 July 2007
Penrhyn Castle – National Trust, nr Bangor, Wales: 7 July – 2 September 2007
Bristol Museum and Arts Gallery, Bristol: 10 November – 9 December 2007
Waterfront Hall, Belfast, N. Ireland: January 2008
Hoopers Gallery visitor information:
Venue: Hoopers Gallery, 15 Clerkenwell Close, London, EC1R 0AA
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 11.00am to 4.30pm, late night Thursday to 7.00pm
Public enquiries: Telephone 020 7490 3908 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Transport: Farringdon tube station
This article first appeared in the Ecologist April 2007