It certainly felt meaningful to open the Bimblebox: art – science – nature exhibition in Newcastle, the world’s largest coal export terminal, last weekend. And the timing could not have been better, coinciding with major protest actions, including a flotilla of kayaks at the port facility, campaigning to raise awareness of climate change, for cuts to carbon emissions and for an end to the era of coal. It certainly seems that Newcastle is prepared to have the conversation, with another exhibition, ‘A Dirty Business’, also exploring the issues, showing at Newcastle Art Gallery. Many people who attended the exhibition opening and the weekend events were from the local Hunter Valley region, directly affected by massive coal mining operations. But as a city that’s had to survive the closure of the BHP steelworks, and now seriously investing in health and education, it may well be this community that helps lead a transition to a cleaner and more sustainable future. Lets hope.
A warm thank you to curator Gillian Shaw and the staff of the University Gallery for a terrific installation and great hospitality. The exhibition continues to 11 June.