Climart is a not-for-profit organisation that brings together a broad alliance of individuals and groups from across the arts sector to address the risks posed by human induced climate change.  This April and May the organisation is facilitating the city-wide, Melbourne-based festival, Art + Climate = Change 2017, with the aim of advocating for immediate, effective, and creative action on climate change.

Organisers of Art + Climate = Change say that art can, and should, be a catalyst for change, and they have built a broad program of activities to stimulate public discourse for the betterment of the planet.  The festival schedule includes keynote presentations from leading national and international scientists, activists, and artists; 30 exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the city; and a series of public programs including artist talks, bike tours, workshops, and open studios.

Here’s a selection of highlights:

Named as the major drawcard for the festival, EXIT, is an immersive, 360-degree installation that visually correlates global human migratory trends with urgent social and economic issues. EXIT was universally acclaimed when it was first exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo to coincide with the COP21 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Little more than a year later, with the escalating refugee and migration crises and the Paris Agreement in doubt, EXIT made its Australian premiere at UNSW Galleries in Sydney before touring to Melbourne to be part of the Art + Climate = Change. Exit is now on as part of Art + Climate = Change at the Ian Potter Museum. (Running at the Ian Potter Museum until 16 July)

One Last Call is a hugely popular participatory artwork by UNSW Art & Design graduate, Anna Madeleine in collaboration with Dr Renee Beale, a PhD in genetics and animator. In this work, Madeleine asks participants to consider the message they might relay if allowed one final call on their mobile phones. She asks them to ponder: Would the message be for environmental change? A message to those yet born? Or a last note to a loved one? The event aims to increase awareness regarding the environmental impact of manufacturing and global disposal of mobile phones. To participate, bring your old phone to the One Last Call phone booth. (Running at Kathleen Syme Community Centre and Library until 14 May)

Time and Tide is the highly anticipated exhibition in which artists representing a wide spectrum of disciplines contemplate the relationship between climate change, global politics, human migration, and cultural practices and beliefs. Participating artists share their personal observations of climate change from Indigenous and non-Indigenous, rural and urban, and national and international perspectives. Artists include Helen Bodycomb, Penny Byrne, Nellie Ngampa Coulthard, David Frank, Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori (c. 1924 – 2015), Selby Ginn, The Hermannsburg Potters, Hermannsburg Watercolourists, Naomi Hobson, Judy Holding, Shirley Macnamara, Betty Muffler, Guykuda Mununggurr, Idris Murphy (UNSW Art & Design), Jasmine Targett, Angela Tiatia (UNSW Art & Design), Warraba Weatherall and Tiger Yaltangki. (Running at Alcaston Gallery until 27 May)