I thought it interesting to look at the individual as a starting point for some creative artwork around the Paris talks. I wanted to make prints of contrasting individuals, whose actions in their sphere of influence can be seen as positive or negative in the frame of action on climate change.
The two people I selected for the first pair of prints are Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, and Juliet Davenport, the founder and CEO of Good Energy.
I don’t know either of them beyond their public images. I thought there were some interesting comparisons to be made between the two English women, both born in the 1960s, who have had very different impacts on the UK’s energy and climate landscape.
I decided to print the image of Juliet Davenport using coffee, turmeric and paprika as pigments, using wood cellulose as a binder medium. All these ingredients are entirely biodegradable and made from sunlight. There’s a nice connection for me here – the image of the person whose career has resulted in more solar energy capacity in the UK, with the associated climate benefits, being printed with inks made of sunlight.
The opposite is true of the ink used to create the Amber Rudd image: this is printed using used engine oil from a VW van. It somehow seemed appropriate to create an image of the person who represents the pro-extractive, pro-automotive, climate risking policies we have experienced in the UK over the last six months, with a fossil fuel. It’s a black, unpleasant substance, and the only more appropriate ink to use would be shale gas, but screen printing with gas is not something I’ve worked out yet.
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