FROM ART PARTNER
Following the month-long open call for submissions, we present the winner and finalists from the #CreateCOP25 contest.
The goal of #CreateCOP25 was to collate rich and diverse visual stories on climate change, and to engage the mainstream on issues that often feel overwhelming, terrifying, or just too far away to fully comprehend.
The judges were impressed by the creativity and visual quality of the submissions. Hundreds of young creatives from 40 countries submitted work ranging from fashion design and sculpture to film and photography. Thank you to everyone who applied.
This platform was built for, and inspired by, the young creatives and climate activists who have so successfully reframed and refreshed the climate movement, and woken up the fashion industry. These young people have pulled the world into our current climate moment, and it is in everyone’s interests to ensure we don’t sit back, but use this momentum to build on where we are.
We are still a long way from where we need to be. The next two COPS (COP25 in Madrid this December, and COP26 in Glasgow next year) are critical to ensure countries submit enhanced climate pledges to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. These works represent just some of the many calls for climate action from the fashion and arts community.
#CreateCOP25 has been a brilliant adventure into the unknown. We look forward to seeing what kind of conversations these young creatives generate, and to working with our six winners in future.
The winner, Nicholas Bennett, has qualified for a $10,000 prize towards a future creative project responding to the climate crisis, and our five runners-up have qualified for $2,000 each towards future projects.
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WINNER: NICHOLAS BENNETT
"SUSTAINABLE TRADITIONS: FORMALWEAR"
Nineteen-year-old Nicholas Bennett is from North Yorkshire and is in his first year at Goldsmiths London, studying design. Interested in the dual property of everyday objects, Nicholas designed a formal suit for people to wear during flooded commutes, complete with waterproof brogues and waders hidden underneath suit trousers.
NICHOLAS BENNETT: “So many of us are conflicted within ourselves about the climate crisis as we try to balance our heritage and current way of living with how we will have to change in future.
“Concerned by the floods in Yorkshire over the past few years, I wanted to test the space between these old and new worlds, and to see how the suit – a garment with a strong sense of tradition and history – fares against the threat of unpredictable weather. The resulting work may be darkly humorous, but this is fast becoming reality. We have to rethink our skins.”
JURY MEMBER LIVIA FIRTH: “Nicholas Bennett’s work so cleverly portrays a future in which climate change affects even our most mundane daily routines. His thought-provoking visuals encourage us all to think about the world we will leave to our great grandchildren if we do not act now.”
AN EXTRACT FROM "HALF LIFE"
PHOTOGRAPHY + POETRY
Twenty-two-year-old Kailash is English, Indian, Russian and Dutch, and lives in London. For #CreateCOP25, he created a book of poetry and photography called ‘Half-Life’, which includes seeded pages to be torn out by the reader and sewn in the earth as they progress through the work.
“A sense of urgency has grown in me in response to the decline of our natural world and its multitude of repercussions.
I made this book using poetry and photography as a mechanism to move from the crippling feelings around the concept of extinction and the weight of the climate emergency. I hope to equip young people with the power to translate negative feeling into positive action, starting with the small proposal of planting a seed. It’s a prompt to show that each action has greater value when done with intention.”