It’s a difficult to get people to believe things they can’t directly observe. This is a key issue with the challenges presented by climate change. Most people don’t believe or choose to ignore what they can’t see until it’s already too late. But what if we could see the effects of climate change? Without the repercussions, preferably.
In many ways this is the role of art in society. Art has a magical way of illustrating these societal challenges. Whether economic, racial, or even environmental.
This is the approach 2 Finnish artists toke to highlight the potential effects of climate change on their community. Artists Timo Aho and Pekka Niittyvirta created a lighting installation at the Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre in Lochmaddy, Scotland.
The installation explores the impact of climate change and how our relationship with the environment will change in light of these environmental challenges. The light installation highlights how the rising sea levels will affect coastal areas, its inhabitants, and land usage in the future. Possibility losing available land to the rising oceans.
This is specifically relevant in the low lying island archipelago of Uist in the Outer Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland where the Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre is located. The museum cannot develop on its existing site due to predicted storm surge sea levels.
Using sensors, timers, and LED lighting; the installation interacts with the rising tidal changes, activating on high tide. The work provides a visual reference of future sea level rise as estimated by scientists. Of course we don’t know for sure how much the oceans will rise. The installation illustrates an estimate of an undefined period of time, based on a variety of current studies. Regardless, the installation serves as a subtle reminder of what is at stake here.
For more stories on environmental artwork check out our post on this art installation made entirely out of recycled bottles and plastics. Click here