Lovelock Art Commissions

Cape Farewell and the Science and Industry Museum present a series of annual art commissions inspired by James Lovelock, pioneering a vital dialogue between science, art and the climate challenge.

Between 2014 and 2016 Cape Farewell and the Science and Industry Museum, Manchester (MSI) collaborated to present an annual Lovelock Art Commission – inviting artists to create work inspired by the findings, writings and interventions of the famous scientist James Lovelock.

Taking Lovelock’s Gaia theory of the earth as an interconnected super organism as a starting point, the commissions were an exciting opportunity for artists pioneering the vital dialogue between science, art and the climate challenge.

Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis establishes relationships between events in nature that were previously regarded as unconnected. In the spirit of this enquiry artist Marcus Coates worked alongside renowned wildlife sound-recordist Geoff Sample to discover what connects such varied animals as bats, whales, insects, amphibians and humans, using their sounds as a common link. His audio installation, and our first 2014 commission The Sounds of Others: A Biophonic Line distorted the speed of their voices to unearth common patterns and forms that would normally be beyond the reach of the human ear.

Lovelock’s work also focused much attention on the significance of the planets’ oceans as a barometer of its health, and how better to understand how the planet regulates itself. For the 2015 commission internationally acclaimed artist Tania Kovats explored the significance of our relationship with water and the world’s seas and oceans in her installation Evaporation.

For the final 2016 commission artist duo HeHe brought atmospheric science powerfully to life in a series of new artworks placed in-situ across the Science and Industry Museum site.

the Commissions

exhibition installation view


The second of our Lovelock Art Commissions, artist Tania Kovats
installation view

Cloud Crash

The third of our Lovelock Art Commissions, artist duo HeHe

“These impressive pieces showcase environmental science in a new light, bringing the science we live and breathe to viewers in a compelling and innovative way.”

Alison Robinson, Natural Environment Research Council, on HeHe’s Cloud Crash

The Lovelock Art Commissions were a collaboration between Cape Farewell and the Science and Industry Museum, Manchester.

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