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Innovative Art for Public Engagement on the Climate Crisis

Published: 04 Jun 2021

Huskies pull a sledge through icy blue water

Image credit: Steffen Olsen DMI/Blue-Action coordinator

MASTS, Blue Action and Creative Informatics have announced the two selected artists for the Ocean ARTic artist-in-residency exploring marine climate data. The 6-week Residency will be completed by July 2021 with the expectation for two new artworks to be Commissioned for launch ahead of the UN COP26 climate conference in November 2021.

Composer Michael Begg and environmental artist Eve Mosher are announced as the two artists partnering with marine scientists to explore climate change data relating to changes in the Arctic and the consequences there and closer to home. This project will produce engaging works for public-sharing and influence, which is pertinent in the lead up to COP26.

Michael Begg is an award-winning composer who will be working with large data sets and using them as foundation for his musical compositions.  Currently composer-in-residence at the Queen's Hall in Edinburgh, his Black Glass Ensemble has previously transformed atmospheric and weather data into pieces at the margins of classical and experimental music.

For his Residency Michael is collaborating with scientists to bring together an ‘ensemble’ of data sets to sonify an aural experience of the impact of glacier ice melt in the Arctic. In Michael’s words: “data is the common vocabulary between artists and scientists”.

Eve Mosher in an internationally renowned environmental artist, whose work interrogates how climate change impacts communities and works with them on emotional and intellectual connections to climate change. For her Residency, Eve is exploring the stories of climate scientists and coastal communities most intimately connected to the issue, weaving their lived experience with the research and data.

Eve said: "Art can create a personal, even emotional connection to the data. Sharing people's lived experience of climate change creates a level of understanding which motivates shifts in attitudes and actions in response to the challenges the world faces".

Ocean ARTic is organised by MASTS People Ocean Planet Initiative in collaboration with Blue Action and Creative Informatics, funded by Creative Scotland and with the support of EcoArtScotLand and Marine Scotland.

MASTS and Blue Action are the scientific partners in this project, supporting access to marine scientists. Creative Informatics (CI) is the creative partner in this project; CI is a major research development programme for the creative industries, delivered by the University of Edinburgh in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University, Creative Edinburgh and Codebase, and will support the integration of data into the creative practices.

Amanda Catto, Head of Visual Arts at Creative Scotland said: “Creative thinking and ideas have the power to positively influence and shape public debate and perspective around climate change and provoke action. We are pleased to support this opportunity for award winning composer Michael Begg and internationally renowned environmental artist Eve Mosher to collaborate with marine scientists.

This creative exploration of the impacts of climate change on the marine environment will challenge us all to gain a better understanding of changes in the Arctic, how climate change is and will affect Scotland, and what this means for society. This residency and resulting visual and sound artworks are made possible thanks to the generosity of National Lottery players, who raise £30 million for good causes across the UK every week.”

If you wish to hear more about this project and hear Michael and Eve speak about their first weeks in the Residency, please tune in to the Creative Informatics Innovation Showcase on Tuesday 8th of June between 3-4pm.

Book your place at the Innovation Showcase 2021


The National Lottery

The National Lottery has raised more than £42 billion for over 625,000 good causes across the UK since 1994. Thanks to National Lottery players, more than £1.2 billion has been awarded in the last year to support communities and thousands of organisations across the UK to cope with the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Visit the National Lottery website: www.national-lottery.co.uk

Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery.

For further information please visit: www.creativescotland.com, and follow Creative Scotland on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


The Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) is a research pool for the majority of Scotland’s marine capacity, driving collaboration and coordination in research, innovation and impact upon policy and practice. The MASTS People Ocean Planet initiative is seeking to shift public understanding of, attitudes towards and behaviours related to major challenges for the ocean and a society that relies upon it for our own well-being.  For further information visit www.masts.ac.uk and www.peopleoceanplanet.com and follow https://twitter.com/mastscot and https://twitter.com/OceanBehaviours

Blue Action

Blue-Action is a major European research project investigating the effect of a changing Arctic on weather and climate, involving over 120 experts from 40 organisations in 17 countries, pooling expertise to improve how we model and predict the impact of warming in the Arctic region. The Blue-Action project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 727852.For further information visit http://blue-action.eu/ and follow us at https://twitter.com/BG10Blueaction

Creative Informatics

Creative Informatics is an ambitious research and development programme based in Edinburgh, bringing world-class creatives and the tech sector together to enable individuals and organisations to explore how data and innovation can be used to drive ground-breaking new products, businesses and experiences. Creative Informatics is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the UK Government’s Industrial strategy. The programme is part of the City Region Deal Data Driven Innovation initiative and is supported by the Scottish Funding Council. For further information visit https://creativeinformatics.org/ and follow us at https://twitter.com/CreateInf/