Incubator Goes Carbon Neutral For New Show With Client Earth, 'Utopia'

by SHOWstudio on 18 June 2024

Featuring five UK-based breakout artists, Utopia is a case in point proving that talking about action isn't just enough, you have to commit to it too.

Featuring five UK-based breakout artists, Utopia is a case in point proving that talking about action isn't just enough, you have to commit to it too.

Everybody yaps on about the fashion industry's irresponsibility when it comes to sustainable practices but what about the art world? The Art Newspaper reported in 2022 that transporting artwork by ship can reduce a gallery's carbon impact by up to 95% compared to air freight: a staunch reminder that no one gets out of the climate debate unscathed and we're all to blame, London galleries large and small included. Alas, one small Marylebone-based gallery is listening loud and clear thanks to the news of their latest partnership with Client Earth ahead of their July show Utopia.

'What Came Next', Ranny Macdonald. Locally sourced earth pigments, Casein and gesso on recycled cotton rag paper, 52 x 46 cm, 2024

'Climate change is the most urgent and pressing global issue facing humanity', noted Incubator founder Angelica Jopling in a statement to press. 'The current crisis is climatic, ecological, political – but it is also a crisis of imagination – what could an alternative future look like?' As her new exhibition reveals the answers from five UK-based artists to this question, Utopia also challenges Jopling's own viewpoint as, throughout the duration of the show (28 June - 8 September), Incubator has promised to operate as a carbon-neutral space to evolve its sustainable practices for future exhibition making. The gallery has also pledged it will donate 10% of the exhibitions' profits to Client Earth.

'Neighbour's harvest', Enej Gala. Sawdust collected from workshops, PVA glue, wire, 2023 (photo credit Andy Keate)

Featuring the work of Alicja Biala, Enej Gala, Ranny Macdonald, Laila Tara H and Emily Wicock, Utopia presents a collective offering of 'what a climate-conscious art gallery could be', Jopling affirms in her statement, which also makes relevant Incubator's 'leave no trace' approach to the show as artists are asked to consider transportation methods of their work as well as materials used. And boy are there some innovative responses. Spanning works on recycled Georgian roof tiles, natural pigment paintings, copper plate etchings, works on handmade hemp paper and a series of sculptures made from recycled materials, the exhibition stands as a true testament to the fact that sustainable art doesn't have to mean ugly art.

'By creating a space of possibility, we are advocating for an environmental utopia' ends Jopling. Creative, imaginative and undoubtedly disruptive to the industry's traditional way of doing this, Utopia gets our vote, hands down.

Utopia at Incubator will run from 28 June until 8 September 2024.

'Home from Home', Emily Wilcock. 51 x 52 cm 2024.

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