Professor Tim O’Riordan OBE DL FBA (Emeritus Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia
"Climate change is often characterised as being too big and too awesome to do anything about. Karen Whiterod has created a way where everyone can overcome that inertia. She has produced an artistic experience where everyone can contribute. In Earth Calling she has fashioned nests of hope. This is a form of rookery where young people and adults can add to the sticks and eggs of the ceramic nests all manner of images and artefacts to show their hope for a better future. Combine this with opportunities to lower future carbon related emissions, and get the county’s MPs involved, and Karen has shown that imaginative art conveys meaning, solidarity and community unity. These are vital ingredients for any transition to a lower carbon sustainable future"
Teresa Belton, author of Happier People Healthier Planet
"A wonderful opportunity for young people and adults to collaborate and imaginatively express their fears and hopes for the future of our shared planet"
Hi, I hope to raise funds for a participatory art and environment project – Earth Calling.
I’ve worked for 16 years as a community artist and sculptor using making and creativity to communicate about the wonder of the natural world and encourage respect for it www.axisweb.org/artist/karenwhiterod
My inspiration for the project has come from several sources, initially from the Climate Coalition mass lobby event of MPs last year.I thought of the young people in eco-groups I’ve worked with, who are very aware of how their futures will be impacted by climate change but they do not have a vote.Their voices have to be heard through other channels.I believe in art as social action.
In a talk at the Julian Centre in Norwich, I heard about the symbolism of world eggs in creation myths and last year I made a sculpture for an exhibition inspired by the creativity and compassion of the medieval Christian mystic, Julian of Norwich. It used similar imagery as this Earth Calling project.More recently I’ve read ‘Crow Country’ by Mark Cocker and learnt how rooks live in community and support one another.
This leads to the idea of a rookery of Nests of Hope and World Eggs made by young and older people who strive to raise awareness of issues around climate change. Earth Calling is about enhancing the sense of community of the participants; while hoping that visitors to the exhibitions will be moved by their compassion for people and species effected by climate change now and those to come. Each Norfolk MP will be given a photobook of images and writing from the project and will be invited to the exhibitions.
Young people from school and community eco-groups will be able to make world eggs from local clay and write a message in prose or as a haiku.In other workshops ‘sticks’ of words, expressing hope and calls to action, will be made with copper wire extracted from used and discarded power cables and communication cables. Each “stick” will be photographed before being brought together to make rook-like rambling nests. We aim for nine nests, one for each MP’s constituency in Norfolk. There will be a total of 11 workshops in Norwich, Diss, Cromer and Swaffham contributing to making the full size rookery of Nests of Hope.
I am co-ordinating the project and delivering the Nests workshops, while Georgina Warne (www.georginawarne.co.uk) will lead the workshops to make the World eggs, with my involvement in the writing part.
We’ve been awarded £400 from Norfolk County Council’s Arts Project Fund provided we raise some money through crowdfunding. We will use a van from Norfolk Car Club who has offered support. Crowdfunding seems right for this project as it is about mutual support in community.
Funding is needed for hiring workshop venues inNorwich, Diss, Swaffham and Cromer and travel costs.Insurance, extra tools, printed publicity, space to store and make the nests. DBS checks for the volunteers helping in the workshops with young people and to pay Georgina and myself for preparation and delivery of the project.
You can play a part in helping this project become a reality by making a donation of any amount. Earth Calling will happen even if we don’t receive the full amount, we may just have to adjust our ambition. We can keep you updated. Once we know if the Earth Calling rookery will be ‘full scale’, we can plan and confirm the exhibition part of the project.
There is more information at www.footprintarts.co.uk/earth_calling.html
Thank you for any donation, much as I'd like to send a card to everyone who helps, realistically it could add a lot to the budget, so I will only send a card to donations of £15 plus. Sorry that it is a poor quality video, I hope it still gets the information about the project across (though this information is basicly what is described in the film), my technology is old and I'm not good at remembering my script! All donations will be received even if we don't reach the target, the ambition of the project might have to be adjusted.