Burning Issues. Land art installation by Martin Hill 2013
The European parliament has declared a climate and ecological emergency. So what urgent actions should governments take?
These are some of the measures that WWF recommends governments can take to legislate to protect the biosphere:
END SUPPORT FOR FOSSIL FUELS
This means phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and using this money to expand renewable sources of energy.
OVERHAUL OF GOVERNMENT FINANCES
Putting climate action at the top of government spending priority list, alongside health, education and security.
STOP POLLUTION FROM OUR HOMES
Legislation that requires all new homes to be zero-carbon and delivering efficiency measures for other homes. This would save money, stop the wasting of energy and reduce emissions.
END PETROL AND DIESEL VEHICLE SALES
Pushing forward our commitment to end sales of diesel and petrol vehicles to 2030 will tackle climate emissions and air pollution.
RESTORE NATURE AND REMOVE CARBON
Restoring nature addresses the natural removal of carbon from our atmosphere. We need to plant trees, restore peatlands, expand wetlands and farm efficiently.
In October over three days of continual storms Philippa and I with our longtime friends Len Gillman, Lea Wilson and David Newstead made the final sculpture No12 on the Fine Line Project on Mt Ruapehu in New Zealand’s Tongariro National Park.
Huge lenticular clouds driven by the storm rose over the Pinnacles and Mt Ngauruhoe was barely visible until late in the afternoon of the third day, when there was a brief clearing. It was long enough to capture the sculpture in the foreground and the peak of Mt Ngauruhoe where we made the first sculpture on the Fine Line over 20 years ago.
Twelve circles pierce the disc referring to the 12 sculptures connected by the Fine Line around the earth.
With the ecological climate crisis upon us the world now enters its most critical stage in history, humanity’s choice of trajectory will decide its fate. With this in mind we feel the Fine Line Project could not be more relevant.
Huge thanks to all those who have helped us along the way.
We are now working on the book and digital media.
Last week after 18 months’ planning a delightful group of 14 students from Bowling Green University Ohio arrived at our studio in Wanaka for a three-day experiential workshop in environmental land art.It was one of the hottest days this year as we all gathered for a talk and video presentation about how Philippa and I came to work together around the world, sharing our art practice, publishing and exhibiting our many land art projects that explore the transition to a regenerative model of progress based on the cyclical way nature works.
The students were aged between 19 and 22 and had chosen this trip to New Zealand because they wanted to learn about our culture and environment – particularly our approach to ecological and social sustainability. They had spent days on environmental conservation projects with scientists in the mountains beforehand. They expressed intense interest in our work and good discussions flowed.
Early next day we gathered for a short walk to a beautiful spring and wetland where they set about creating their own environmental sculptures from natural materials which they photographed.
The variety of materials and forms they chose was diverse. Each of them expressed their ideas and point of view creating a wide range of ephemeral sculptures, photographs and video.
Some of the group worked with us to finish a piece made from raupo stems and flax
thread which we floated on the lake. We all hiked up above the wetland to photograph the sculpture floating below.
Later a rain shower put an end to the proceedings but Philippa and I returned later to complete two versions of the work rapidly and capture photographs in golden light just before the sun dropped behind the mountains.
We all met at the wetland the following day to witness any changes to the sculptures and to photograph them in morning sunlight. The students were all pleased and happy with what they had achieved and experienced, one was so keen on her piece she carried it off to take home to America.
COP21 The Paris Climate Summit agreement is a world first.
187 countries committing to aim for a reduction in their carbon emissions that hold global warming at no more than 1.5 degrees above pre industrial levels. This represents a watershed decision towards solving the climate crisis. However their total pledges will barely hold temperatures below 3 degrees of warming, which climate scientists agree will be catastrophic.
So this is where the really hard work begins. It signals the end of business as usual for the energy industries. Future investment will need to be compatible with a zero carbon world.
We were pleased to make our creative contribution towards the shift to a low carbon circular economy in line with nature, with images and the story of our 20 year art practice recognised in issue No.1 of Open Resource magazine. The magazine features innovative approaches to the resource revolution and circular economy that are so urgently needed by all nations.
You can learn about this revolution in a fluid form version of Open Resource magazine here.
We are hopeful that 2016 will mark a turning point in history when the world community recognises and acts upon its obligations towards protecting all future life.
Having walked over the Hooker glacier to approach Mount Cook forty years ago, this view of the ice choked lake that has replaced it came as a shock. No surprise though, given the amount of global warming we are creating by our carbon emissions. What more of a wakeup call does the world need to combat deadly climate change that enhanced the storm that struck the Philipines last week?
Whenever you find a system in the world that is not working, don’t complain . Invent a new model that makes the old one obsolete.
Here is someone reinventing the world for the better.
90 minuets of inspired common sense.
Gunter Pauli The Blue Economy
For the second year running Ackermann have published a high quality large format calendar for German speaking countries featuring Martin Hill environmental sculptures.
The calendar is proving so successful that another is being planned for 2015.
You can view and purchase your copies here.
We have just returned from a few days in Melbourne where we worked with gallery directors to arrange two major solo exhibitions of the Watershed project. The first will be at the McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery, the leading sculpture centre in Australia . It will include land art photographs, videos and sculptures and will run from 16th February – 17 April 2014.
The second exhibition will be at Mossgreen Gallery’s newly developed building in Armadale during April 2014 where selected large prints from the Watershed project will be exhibited for sale.
This new body of work examines the relationship between human systems and the global water cycle that supports them. It is the most ambitious body of work yet so we are excited that it will be exhibited internationally as well as at galleries to be announced in New Zealand.
Sincere thanks to the Myer Foundation for sponsoring the McClelland Gallery exhibition. Thanks also to the Kenneth Myer Artists and Writers Alpine Retreat programme for providing the opportunity for us to work from the Whare Kea Chalet near Mt Aspiring in the New Zealand alps. Spending two extended periods alone up high in winter and summer conditions was a profound experience that is reflected in the works produced.
McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery Melbourne
As an adjunct to the Wanaka Festival of Colour programme Art at Home arranged for 300 people to visit our home and studio last week as part of a tour of six homes.
Christy Rolfe did a great job of organising this in association with Wanaka Rotary who are raising funds for a community arts project in Wanaka.
There was so much interest one visitor even hopped across the stepping stones into my studio on crutches.
It was a great day, we enjoyed meeting everyone and getting feedback about our work.
The 25 minute film Delicate Canvas by James Blake and Joey Bania was shown in Auckland at the documentary edge festival. The film features our art practice leading to the exhibition Martin Hill-Fragile Canvas at Gallery 33 Wanaka.