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Last Chance Saloon in Cornwall (and Glasgow) by Phil Barton, MA Art & Science, Central Saint Martins

black and white print of a field with bare trees
  • Written byPost-Grad Community
  • Published date12 October 2021
black and white print of a field with bare trees
"Marking Time ll: Forests" by Simon Hodgkinson

Written by Phil Barton MA Art & Science, Central Saint Martins (2020).


COP26 takes place in Glasgow next month, chaired by the UK. Delayed a year because of Covid, it is likely the last chance for the nations of the world coming together to prevent global temperatures rising more than 2˚C above pre-industrial levels with catastrophic consequences. The scientific community is united in this, their consensus report, accepted by governments, was published in August - The Guardian headline: “Global climate crisis: inevitable, unprecedented, and irreversible”.

Front page of a newspaper
The Guardian front page (10th August 2021)

As the COP26 in Glasgow approaches and the pressures of climate change and species extinction continue to escalate, there is a growing feeling that humanity is dining at 'The Last Chance Saloon'.

shopfront of a gallery called terre verte
Terre Verte Gallery, Alturnun, Cornwall. In the left hand window "Arc of the Sun" by Richard Paton and on the right "Layers, Bangladesh" (2020) by SRG Bennett.

An exhibition of paintings, prints, installations, film and poetry prompted by the climate emergency features 17 artists whose practice is driven or prompted by this issue, Some are focused on species extinction, extreme weather events, sea level rise or rewilding, others have evolved a practice which carefully minimises all their impacts on the environment. Together, this work excites emotions, challenges and informs ideas and prompts and reminds us vividly that we are living in a poignant and precarious time.

orange wall with 9 framed paintings displayed
Monoprints by Laura Madley "Thames Flooding" (2021) and Phil Barton " Lindisfarne Saltmarsh Series" (2020)

Exhibitors include eight recent graduates and students from the MA Fine Art programmes at Central Saint Martins – Catherine Herbert, Charles Binns, Diane Wingate, Laura Madeley, Phil Barton, Richard Paton, Simon Hodgkinson and SRG Bennett.

black and white print of a field with bare trees
"Marking Time ll: Forests" by Simon Hodgkinson

The other artists represented are Dorothy Hanna, Imogen Rigden, Karen Howse, Katy Suggett, Pete Ward, Peter ‘Jacko’ Jackson, Richard Sharland, Rob Arnold and Tina Kutter.

Four green squares on a wall
"Extinction Series" by Charles Binns

Co-curated by Phil Barton and Richard Sharland - both artists who have between them spent 70 years working in and leading environmental organisations – the show is hosted by Terre Verte Gallery on the slopes of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. ‘Last Chance Saloon’ is open until 4th December. Full details on the Gallery website.

Origami rhino and piece of blue tissue paper hanging up on a drying line
"Hung out to dry" by Diane Wingate in response to the extinction of the Northern Black Rhino

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