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International Art to Te Papa for Environment Day

The Natural World Museum Brings an International Art Exhibit to Te Papa in New Zealand for UN World Environment Day 2008

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. and WELLINGTON, May 15 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ -- Moving Towards a Balanced Earth: Kick the Carbon Habit.

Features World Renowned Artists Including Antonio Briceno, Susan Norrie, Ken Rinaldo and Amy Youngs.

The Natural World Museum (NWM), in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), revealed today plans for a 2008-2009 traveling exhibit entitled Moving Towards a Balanced Earth: Kick the Carbon Habit. The exhibit will debut at the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum in Wellington to commemorate the celebration of UN World Environment Day (WED) on 5 June 2008. As the host of WED 2008, on the theme of "Kick the Carbon Habit," New Zealand is one of the first countries to pledge a carbon-neutral future.

Moving Towards a Balanced Earth: Kick the Carbon Habit features the works of 27 artists representing 20 countries. The contemporary art pieces all focus on climate change, with an emphasis on lowering carbon emissions. The thought-provoking exhibition includes photographs, paintings, sculpture, video, multimedia and conceptual installations.

Each year, NWM and UNEP launch their annual flagship exhibit in honor of WED -- a principal vehicle through which the United Nations stimulates awareness of the environment and enhances political action. Each exhibit focuses on a different environmental issue and utilizes the universal language of art as a catalyst to raise global awareness as it tours the world. After New Zealand, the exhibit is scheduled to tour through Latin America, North America, Asia, and Europe.

Exhibition Curator Randy Jayne Rosenberg states, ``Artists are often described as prophetic, visionaries, and poetic shapers of the world -- one step ahead of the rest of humanity.’’ In this exhibition, we ask the participating artists to find new ways to articulate this balance; to help us find a new vocabulary and through their artworks help us find new visions and new choices. The show visualizes answers to questions such as: How do we get the Earth in balance? What does balance look like? What does it feel like? How will we know when we're there?

Participating artists include: AES & F Group, Ken Aptekar, Lise Bjorne, Lien Botha, Antonio Briceno, Enrique Martinez Celaya, Alison Clouston, Bill Culbert and Ralph Hotere, Geoff Dixon, Chris Drury, Mounir Fatmi, Peter Fend, Isa Genzken, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Walangari Karntawarra, Ik-Joong Kang, Gabriela Morawetz, Susan Norrie, Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba, Susan Plum, Ken Rinaldo and Amy Youngs, Alexis Rockman, Harriet Russell, Soledad Salame, Lars Siltberg, Cyprien Tokoudagba, and Bill Viola.

``With a focus on lowering carbon emissions, we hope this exhibit will contribute to a shift in visitors' attitudes toward the environment, and in the consumer choices they make,’’ said Mia Hanak, the Founding Executive Director of the Natural World Museum. ``Let us use this time around UN World Environment Day to each do our part in helping turn the tide of public awareness and promote positive action around climate change.’’

NWM has partnered with UNEP since 2005 through the global `Art for the Environment’ initiative, a curatorial program that utilizes the universal language of art to unite people in action and thought on a broad spectrum of environmental topics. NWM has produced the traveling exhibit Moving Towards a Balanced Earth: Kick the Carbon Habit as part of the `Art For the Environment’ program.

Achim Steiner, UN Under Secretary General and Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), said: ``If, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words the Kick the Carbon Habit exhibition will surely be worth thousands of tonnes in avoided greenhouse gas emissions as a result of visitors inspired to personal action by the powerful art works in the Natural World Museum's exhibit hosted at the Te Papa Museum and eventually at galleries across the world.’’

Te Papa is pleased to unveil this year's new traveling exhibition in New Zealand, marking its involvement in the joint efforts focused on the role of art in changing behavior in order to help safeguard the environment.

``There is no issue more topical than the concern about the well-being of this planet and the responsibility we have collectively to ensure its future for our children. Te Papa is very pleased to host this coming together of art and environmental issues, in an exhibition that explores our relationship with the Earth,’’ said Dr Seddon Bennington, Te Papa's Chief Executive.

There will be a media preview for the exhibition on 4 June between 11am and 1pm. Media can contact the Te Papa public relations office at 0064 4 381 7083 for more information and to RSVP.



SOURCE: The Natural World Museum

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