Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to showcase contemporary art about the climate crisis
- Deborah Chu
- 22 May 2020
Inverleith House to become the 'Climate House' in three-year partnership with London's Serpentine Galleries
Inverleith House – the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh's celebrated gallery and exhibition space – is set to be transformed into the 'Climate House' as part of a new three-year partnership programme with the Serpentine Galleries. This new interdisciplinary collaboration will see artists from the Serpentine's 'Back to Earth' initiative draw upon the Botanics' ecological expertise to create work that explores and shares critical research into our ongoing climate and biodiversity crisis.
Australian artist Keg de Souza will create an immersive installation within Climate House, allowing it to function as a transdisciplinary space for artists, scientists, activists and the general public to come together and plan for a better, healthier and more equitable world. Artists already working with the Botanics team as part of the project's research phase include James Bridle, Kapwani Kiwanga, Fernanda Garcia-Dory, Tabita Rezaire, Ayesha Tan-Jones and Cooking Sections. Climate House will open to the public in summer 2021, and so far the programme is set to include a new solo show from Turner Prize nominee Christine Borland.
The programme is being funded by the Outset Transform Award, which has granted the organisations £150,000 to run the programme for three years. The Outset Award has also facilitated the foundation of the General Ecology Network, which brings together arts and science organisations to help further our understanding of the natural world and the existential challenges that we face today.
The Botanics' Head of Creative Programming, Emma Nicholson, says of the new partnership: 'Inverleith House's proximity to the world of plants, and the richness of scholarship and practice associated with RGBE, means that we have an abundance of resources at our disposal to begin thinking about the role of art institutions in the age of climate crisis. We believe that art has an important part to play in linking objects, images, processes, people, locations, histories and discourse in a physical space, opening up dialogues and imaginaries that could be critical in finding solutions to this crisis.
By turning our house into a home, we will welcome the 21st-century explorer – an explorer who listens to voices less heard, refuses to conform to the boundary between culture and nature, and is eager to imagine ways of living for the future.'