Climate change adaptation inspires art exhibition

Bengal is a new collection of sculptures commissioned by Christian Aid to raise awareness of climate change.

The five sculptures by artist Gerry Judah feature in the Tipping Point exhibition being run in association with Wolverhampton Art Gallery from 11 May to 6 July.

The exhibition explores the unstable future of the environment and economy.

Judah took inspiration for his contribution from a trip to West Bengal and Jharkhand in India where he saw how communities are adapting to unpredictable weather patterns and rising sea levels.

Gerry was born in Kolkota, in West Bengal, but had not returned for 50 years prior to his trip with Christian Aid.

He visited communities living in the shadow of power stations that are affected by fly-ash deposits hampering their crops. He was also able to meet subsistence farmers working with Christian Aid partners to adapt their farming methods in the face of unpredictable droughts and floods, while learning about sustainable and clean energy sources.

"It seems to me that there are people in India getting richer and richer and there are people in India getting poorer and poorer. And it's those who are really more affected by climate change," he said.

"I remember we were in a village having dinner and were sitting on these chairs that you would have thrown away in a skip. They were torn plastic vacuum formed, but they were wired together with old rusty metal to become chairs again.

"And it seemed to me that people are just using anything they can to patch up their lives, so that they continue living or existing, and it seems to me that climate change has such an impact on people that they're trying to patch up whatever they can just to deal with it."

The Tipping Point exhibition also features the work of Turner Prize winner Simon Starling and nominees Darren Almond and Anya Gallaccio.