Art For Your World at COP26

November 30, 2021
Natural History Museum Lit Up Green for Art For Your World
Natural History Museum, London © Trustees of the Natural History Museum - Photograph by Aimee McArdle

The Art For Your World campaign was created to align with COP26. The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties took place between the 1st and 12th November 2021 in Glasgow. During this defining moment for our future and the health of our planet Art For Your World continued to unite the art world to show their support in the fight against climate change. Artists, galleries, cultural centres, museums and beyond lit up green, flooded Instagram and even projected onto the SEC centre itself, which hosted the COP26 conference, with the message that climate change is happening now, and that the art world is taking action.


On Friday 5th November 2021 multiple cultural institutions including the Natural History Museum, Guggenheim Bilbao, HMS Belfast, Ikon Gallery, Institute Français and the Royal Society of Sculptures lit up their iconic buildings green. The action of illuminating green was a visual representation that the cultural and art sector are engaged in the climate change conversation. It provoked questions and persuaded the public to discover more about the campaign and how the art world is taking action. This interest was evident in the engagement with #ARTFORYOURWORLD across social channels.


Those that did not or could not physically light up green joined the Art For Your World campaign by lighting up green on social media. The Advisor reported that ‘the likes of Tate Modern, The Photographers’ Gallery, Modern Art Oxford, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Dundee Contemporary Arts, and National Museum Wales’ as well as individual artists and creatives, posted ‘about the movement on Instagram’. The platform turned into a sea of squares that spread the Art For Your World message. They shared far and wide a powerful video made by WWF which stated ‘THE TIME IS NOW FOR THE ART WORLD TO TAKE ACTION. THE FUTURE IS IN OUR HANDS’. They shared images of their artwork inspired by the natural world the campaign is fighting to protect. And, most importantly, they used their platforms to spread the message to their fellow creatives, galleries and institutions.


For many in the art world social media is where they source inspiration, record their creative process and advertise their work. I wrote in a previous blog ‘people really care about art and the discourses it chooses to embody’, as a result of this it has a massive online following and influence. On the 5th November 2021 Art For Your World harnessed that influence by using it to spread our core message that artists and the spaces that display their work as well as those who appreciate art must do more to make the sector realise, we need to change our practice to protect the planet and use our influence to engage the world with the climate change emergency.


Hurt Earth in collaboration with Art For Your World during COP26


Jenny Holzer Artwork


HURT EARTH, 2021. Light projection. SEC Armadillo, Glasgow. Text: Marcy Kaptur, “Climate Crisis,” U.S. Congressional hearing, June 16, 2021 © 2021 Jenny Holzer, ARS. Photo: Lee Pretious. Animation: Seth Brau


As we discussed in a previous blog, Hurt Earth is a series of projections by artists Jenny Holzer that was first launched at Tate Modern in October 2021. The artwork consists of testimonies by more than 40 activists, leaders and others who address the climate crisis. For the duration of COP26 Hurt Earth in collaboration with Art For Your World appeared on several landmark buildings in Scotland including Edinburgh Castle, SEC Armadillo, MET Tower Glasgow and various pop up locations in and around Edinburgh.


Jenny Holzer Artwork

HURT EARTH, 2021. Light projection Edinburgh Castle. Text: Protest sign © 2021 Jenny Holzer, ARS Photo: Ryan Buchanan Animation: Seth Brau 


The artwork attracted the attention of the press with many reporting it as one of the top art moments during the summit. Time Out declared it ‘one of the 10 best COP26 artworks’ and Designboom, Glasgow Live and MarketScreener reported that Hurt Earth ‘implores the public to make their voices heard and take action in the global fight against climate change’.


You can still support Art For Your World and WWF.


Post on Instagram a work that aligns with the cause, using the given hashtag #ARTFORYOURWORLD. If you are selling your artwork, then we encourage you to donate a portion to Art For Your World from the sale. The donation is entirely at your discretion and can be made directly here using the DONATE button.


Art For Your World have also commissioned three limited edition prints from acclaimed artists Chila Kumari Singh BurmanHeather Phillipson and Bob and Roberta Smith which are still available to purchase via our collaborators Rise Art here 


All the money raised from the sales of the prints will go directly to the five key projects currently being undertaken by WWF against climate change.


- Written for Art For Your World by Ruth Connolly