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1.5 Degrees art exhibition focusing on global warming at the Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells

By Cameron Tucker

Projected onto a wall is a gas masked individual sat in the middle of a stream, tuning a radio. As they twist a dial, the words of Greta Thunberg ring out, while on screen we see a montage of pollution, mass food production and protest.

Curators of 1.5 Degrees, Angharad 'Boo' Brittle (left) and Sian Thomas
Curators of 1.5 Degrees, Angharad 'Boo' Brittle (left) and Sian Thomas

And so begins 1.5 Degrees, the latest exhibition at the Trinity Theatre in Tunbridge Wells. The central theme, unsurprisingly, is the ongoing climate crisis, the 1.5 degrees pointing to the danger limit for global warming.

It is the first collaboration between Sian Thomas and Angharad 'Boo' Brittle, both Fine Art students at West Kent College, who have already taken the show to the Kaleidoscope Gallery in Sevenoaks.

"I have always been concerned with the planet," says co-curator Thomas. "I thought an exhibition focusing on the climate emergency could be a good way to spread awareness as engaging with art can often be easier than processing the overwhelming facts and statistics of the science."

Coral Bleaching by Eric Parker
Coral Bleaching by Eric Parker

Set in the epicentre of the exhibition is Coral Bleaching by Eric Parker, a ceramic depiction of the state of the planet's reefs.

Alongside more traditional paintings and sketches are unconventional installations; a piece of camera trickery from local artist Mark Welland, and Kate Grimes' ice sculpture of a penguin which melts to reveal shrunken crisp packets.

"As artists, we should reflect what is happening in the real world," Brittle says. "There is a lot of apathy towards this subject and that's the same in the 'art world' too."

She adds: "We want people to really think about what is at stake here. We're not saying you should never fly, eat meat or buy a new pair of shoes again. But we are rapidly running out of time to fix these problems so if everyone can make small changes this could buy us some extra time."

Tintagel by Josie Gamble
Tintagel by Josie Gamble

Likewise, Thomas is keen to get across the severity of the situation to visitors.

"I hope we have managed to highlight the beauty of the planet we must protect," he says. "I hope that visitors will be inspired to make changes and take action to tackle this emergency."

1.5 Degrees is on show at the Trinity Theatre in Tunbridge Wells until Saturday, February 22. Entry is free.

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As One by Mark Welland
As One by Mark Welland
Icicles by Cathy Green, featured in the exhibition
Icicles by Cathy Green, featured in the exhibition

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