Vital creative action on environmental issues

23 April – 19 May

CLIMARTE announces the return of ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2019 from 23 April – 19 May, a socially engaged festival of ideas, exhibitions, theatre works and events featuring 30 visual arts exhibitions across Melbourne and regional Victoria. This is a festival showcasing thought-provoking climate change issues and ideas through the arts, science and humanities by local and international artists, thought-leaders and change-makers. Now in its third biannual instalment, ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE advocates for meaningful and creative action on climate change.

A survey exhibition by Peter Dombrovski (1945 – 1996) will be a highlight of the 2019 festival, showing at Monash Gallery of Art, 9 March – 12 May (pictured). Peter was one of the world’s foremost wilderness photographers, whose powerful, reflective and deeply personal images of the Tasmanian landscape had a lasting impact, changing the way Australians think about their environment by making remote nature accessible through images. Some of Dombrovski’s photographs have been instrumental in the conservation of various Tasmanian wilderness, including the prevention of the damming of the Franklin River.

Another highlight of the 2019 festival is The Living Pavilion, a living laboratory at The University of Melbourne – a recyclable, biodegradable, edible and biodiverse event space that celebrates indigenous knowledge, ecological science and sustainable design through participatory arts practice. The Living Pavilion’s free public programs will bring together experts in art and curatorial practice with researchers in climate and environmental science. The project includes five sessions of Ecofeminist Fridays, a refuge for critical ecological feminist thought and discussion to flourish, and four sessions of climate bites: info-packed discussions with experts on food, water, fashion, and nature, with practical tips to bite back against our climate emergency, taking place 1 – 17 May.

Returning in 2019 is the popular CLIMARTE POSTER PROJECT II, designed to incite public dialogue and accelerate a response to climate change. Over 1000 posters will be pasted on walls throughout inner Melbourne, coinciding with an exhibition at Testing Grounds from artists including Julia Ciccarone, Peter Waples-Crowe, Clare McCracken and more. With strength, optimism and urgency, it pushes the conceptual possibilities of the poster, finding new ways for contemporary artists to critically engage with the public on climate change from 26 April – 18 May.


Two outstanding keynotes include:

Museums & Activism: Slaying the Zombie Myth of Institutional Neutrality by Beka Economopoulos and Jason Jones (USA). Drawing on recent initiatives organised by the Natural History Museum, a traveling pop-up museum founded by activist art collective Not An Alternative, this talk will explore how the Natural History Museum leverages the symbolic and infrastructural power of science museums to transform them into vital infrastructures for environmental progress, champions science for the common good, and advocates for a just and sustainable future. Deakin Edge Theatre, Federation Square on 30 April.

A museum for the path ahead: New York City’s Climate Museum. Miranda Massie (USA), founder and director of NYC’s Climate Museum, will address why we need a cultural shift in response to the climate crisis, and why dedicated climate museums are a necessary, though not sufficient, component of that shift. Carillo Gantner Theatre, Sidney Myer Asia Centre at The University of Melbourne on 1 May.

Bronwyn Johnson, CLIMARTE director said: ‘I am delighted that more and more artists are consciously engaging with communities everywhere to create cultural transformations to understand the impacts of climate change now and into the future. Festival exhibitions and events help us to understand the rich relationships that exist between all life on earth and show us that we are part of nature and not separate from it.’

Theatre works to premiere at the festival include David Finnigan’s You’re Safe ‘til 2024 showing at Bunjil Place on 10 – 12 May. Over the past two years, writer David Finnigan asked a series of scientists to each select one object that illustrates something about these huge global changes. In this performance, David unpacks the fascinating stories behind this unique showcase: a mixtape for the planet.

Writer and performer Lara Stevens will present her techno-arachnid fantasy Not Now, Not Ever at the Brunswick Mechanics Institute on 10 – 11 May: a sing-and-dance-along to Julia Gillard’s ‘Misogyny Speech’ and a meditation on what it means to bring a girl into the 21st century. In a world that is warming, sinking, outlawing crop diversity and running short of fresh water, it asks: can Spider Woman fight evil, weave her way to justice, feed her children, finish the ironing and still be prime minister?


ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2019 – List of exhibitions:

Climarte Poster Project II

Testing Grounds, 1 City Road, Southbank


The Living Pavilion

The University Of Melbourne, Grattan Street, Gate 8, Opposite Bouverie Street Corner, Parkville 


Museums & Activism: Slaying The Zombie Myth Of Institutional Neutrality

Deakin Edge Theatre, Federation Square, Melbourne


A Museum For The Path Ahead: New York City’s Climate Museum

Main Lecture Theatre B117, Melbourne School Of Design, The University Of Melbourne, Building 133, Spencer Road, Carlton



Alliance Francaise, 51 Grey Street, St Kilda


Anne Zalhalka: Wild Life, Australia

Arc One Gallery, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne


Our Life, Our World & The World Around Us

Arts Project Australia, 24 High Street, Northcote


Rebecca Mayo: It’s In The Bag

Caves, Nicholas Building Level 18, 37 Swanston Street Melbourne


Sarah Mconnell: Here Today

St Heliers Street Gallery, Abbotsford Convent


Rox De Luca: Gleaning for plastic, on the beach

Loop Bar & Project Space, 23 Meyers Place, Melbourne


Yandell Walton: Shifting Surrounds

The Substation, 1 Market Street, Newport


Water, Soil & Life

Charles Nodrum Gallery, 267 Church Street, Richmond


Bruised: Art Action & Ecology In Asia

RMIT Gallery, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne


The Urban Gleaner And The Plastique, Pt. Ii

Tempcontemp @Northcity4, 61 Weston Street, Brunswick


Cameron Robbins: Remote Sensor

Mars Gallery, 7 James St, Windsor

Birrarung A Film by Maudie Palmer

Mars Gallery, 7 James St, Windsor


Jane Burns: Listed

Mars Gallery, 7 James St, Windsor


Joanna Mott: Somewhere Under The Rainbow

Mars Gallery, 7 James St, Windsor


Isadora Vaughan: Gaia Not The Goddess

Heide Museum Of Modern Art, 7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen



The Counihan Gallery, 233 Sydney Road, Brunswick, Vic, 3056


A Tree’s Worth

The Counihan Gallery, 233 Sydney Road, Brunswick, Vic, 3056


Yang Yongliang

Bayside Gallery, Brighton Town Hall, Corner Of Carpenter And Wilsons Street, Brighton, Vic, 3186


David Keeling: As The Light Falls

Niagara Galleries, 245 Punt Road, Richmond, Vic, 3101



Linden New Art, 26 Acland Street, St Kilda, Vic, 3182


Dombrovskis – Journeys Into The Wild

Monash Gallery Of Art, 860 Ferntree Gully Road, Wheelers Hill, Vic, 3150


In The Valley

Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Civic Reserve, Dunns Road, Mornington, Vic, 3931


Lesley Duxbury- Echo: A Survey

Gippsland Art Gallery, 70 Foster Street, Sale, Victoria, 3850


Katie West- Clearing

Tarrawarra Museum Of Art, 313 Healesville- Yarra Glen Road, Healesville, Vic, 3777


John Wolseley And Mulkun Wirrpanda—Molluscs / Maypal And The Warming Of The Seas

Geelong Art Gallery, 55 Little Malop Street, Geelong, Vic, 3220


Rewriting The Score

Latrobe Regional Gallery, 138 Commercial Road, Morwell, Vic, 3840


Heather Hesterman: Sam Edulab 2019

Shepparton Art Museum, 70 Welsford Street, Shepparton, Vic, 3630


Vera Möller- A Thousand Tides

Bunjil Place, Bunjil Place Gallery, 2 Patrick Northeast Drive, Narre Warren, Vic, 3805


You’re Safe Til 2024

Bunjil Place, Bunjil Place Studio, 2 Patrick Northeast Drive, Narre Warren, Vic, 3805


Dornith Doherty: Failsafe

National Centre For Photography, 4 Lydiard Street South, Ballarat Central, Vic, 3350


Film Screening: Demain

The Vri, 18/20 Queens Parade, Traralgon, Vic, 3844


Not Now, Not Ever

Brunswick Mechanics Institute, 270 Sydney Rd, Brunswick, Vic, 3056