Energy Transition Artists at COP26

By Joan Sullivan

Some personal news: 

Yesterday, Climate Visuals and TED Countdown announced the 100 winning photographsof their recent Open Call for Photography: Visualizing Climate Change.

These photographs will be showcased at the TED Countdown Summit 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland, from October 12-15, 2021. Afterwards, they will travel to Glasgow from November 1-12 for a photo exhibition at the make-or-break COP26, supported by Scottish Power.

I am so humbled and honored that three of my photographs were selected by a diverse independent international jury for this global initiative. All of my photographs responded to the first of five core TED Countdown themes – Energy, Transport, Nature, Food, Materials. 

(Energy, or more specifically the energy transition, has been the cœur of my work for the past decade. I am particularly proud that one of my energy transition photos currently graces the masthead of Project Drawdown’s  climate solutions web page.)

According to the TED Countdown website, the Visualizing Climate Change initiative “ultimately aims to support climate change photographers, educators, communicators, and campaigners by the creation of a new, equitable, and accessible collection of the world’s most impactful photography.”

The 100 winning photographs will be added to the Climate Visuals library – an online resource of images freely available to key groups communicating on climate (editorial media, educators, campaigners, and non-for-profit groups) “to help them engage their audiences in the lead up to COP26 and beyond.”

I recently learned about another energy transition artist whose work will be displayed at both the TED Countdown Summit and the COP26. I have not yet spoken to Jessica Segall, a Brooklyn-based video artist, sculptor and performer, but I hope to interview her soon for a future post on Artists and Climate Change.

In the meantime, please check out Segall’s brilliant short film Say When, one of five short films commissioned and produced by Olafur Eliasson’s Little Sun for its new Fast Forwardfilm series. An interview with Segall about her solar energy work can be found here on the Little Sun website.

(Top image by Joan Sullivan.)

This article is part of the Renewable Energy series.

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Joan Sullivan is a Canadian photographer focused on the energy transition. She is a member of Women Photograph. In her monthly column for Artists and Climate Change, Joan explores the intersection of art and the energy transition. She is currently experimenting with abstract photography as a new language to express her grief about climate breakdown. You can find Joan on Twitter and Visura.

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Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

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