Above: billboard image (2021) featuring Monica Sjöö’s painting Mother Earth in Pain: her trees cut down and her seas polluted (1996)
Sue Tate, as part of the Monica Sjöö Collective, was involved in organising a Bristol campaign for climate action. This is the press release:
Billboard art calls for climate action
From this week a striking painting by renowned Bristol-based artist Monica Sjöö, will appear on billboards around the streets of Bristol. Made back in 1996, Mother Earth in Pain: her trees cut down and her seas polluted speaks across the decades to raise awareness of the climate crisis today.
One of the organisers of this Bristol campaign, Su Fahy, said “The painting is a powerful condemnation of the damage being wreaked on mother earth at that time – the destruction of forests for the Newbury by-pass and the pollution of oils slicks off Pembrokeshire. These are issues only accelerating today – we must take action before it’s too late”.
While the billboards are up, world leaders will be meeting in Glasgow to discuss the climate crisis at the hugely important global climate change conference (COP26). The billboards call out to us to ‘Act Now!’
Monica Sjöö (1936-2005) was a Swedish artist, activist and eco-feminist who lived in Bristol most of her life producing a powerful body of work. Always a campaigner she believed in the power of art to speak directly to the heart and mind and in 1996 took this particular painting on a demonstration against Monsanto’s gene engineering in a Bristol University laboratory.
In the words of the Monica Sjöö Collective: “She would be glad to know it’s out in the world again speaking at this critical moment in the life of the planet”.
(01 November 2021)