Chieftain Iffucan of Azcan

Silas BirtwistleFrom 30 November–10 December 2015, Paris will host the 21st UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21)


These are the crunch talks in negotiating vital international agreements in the battle against climate change.

This sculpture, currently on exhibition at The Chapel in Bruton, Somerset raises awareness of the talks and focuses on three core areas debated at the summit: harmful gases (CFCs) caused by some refrigerants; the global food security system and the needs, rights and voices of humankind from around the world. The piece is displayed in a small freezer with a glass door.

The head is made entirely of fruit and vegetables sourced locally from around Bruton, Somerset and was initially inspired by the paintings of renaissance artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo.

Having attended and exhibited at several UN summits on climate change, I have been particularly struck by the disparity of various topics discussed. In addition, there is always a strong presence of indigenous people from around the world who seem to be fighting their corner and trying to stress that they do not own the land they live on, but are merely custodians. In many ways, this invariably seems to link in with the global food security system. Either their lands are being pillaged, or they are being paid poorly for their natural resources. The harmful gases caused by some refrigerants is now a pressing issue, and although gaining some momentum, these talks will probably take place in a separate room, with no real connection to the bigger picture.

Chieftain Iffucan of Azcan is an attempt make some of these topics cohere. The title is taken from a Wallace Stevens poem, and the piece is in no way representative, but just generic.

Silas & Adam Birtwistle

 

Photo by Ben Taylor Photography