Climate change exhibition 'Earth Requiem Part 1' opens at Arts Centre Washington

A Wearside artistic community has given its reponse to the climate crisis through a new exhibition.

The Sunderland Indie is an arts collective which deals with visual arts such as sculpture and painting. Their work will be displayed at Arts Centre Washington, from Tuesday, April 12 until Saturday, May 28.

The artists in the group want to open a dialogue with the wider public through their exhibition, which is called Earth Requiem Part 1. It is a series of events presenting “creative responses to global warming and climate change”.

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The exhibition at the Biddick Lane centre is free to enter. Artists whose work is being featured include Angela Sandwith, Francis Edward, Ellie Clewlow and Roland Buckingham-Hsiao.

Artists Angela Sandwith, Barrie West, Francis Edward and Ellie Clewlow in front of artwork from Roland Buckingham-Hsiao.

The opening night of the exhibition will feature music and poetry as well as the art work.

Barrie West is founder of The Sunderland Indie, as well as himself being a featured artist.

He said: “Through painting, sculpture, photography and poetry we want people to think about the most important issue facing life on planet earth today.

“The exhibition was due before the pandemic, but the United Nations Climate Change COP26 last November gave us extra impetus. We wanted to use art to bring people’s attentions to what was being said at the conference and the exhibition is our response.

Barrie’s contribution to Earth Requiem Part 1 is called Gravity and is in the form of a black obelisk. It was inspired by one of Stanley Kubrick’s most famous films.

Barrie explained: “In the film 2001: A Space Odyssey a black obelisk appears in times of change – and there’s never been a time of more fundamental change.

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“The work is created from toy soldiers and represents man plundering the Earth for its oil and other natural resources. It’s a serious piece and we’ve never been in a more serious situation.”

Matt Blyth, audience development officer at Arts Centre Washington, said: “The exhibition promises to be thoughtful, poetic, experimental, challenging and compelling. Climate change is a global issue, but this is very much a local response.”

A follow up exhibition is scheduled to be displayed later in 2022. Earth Requiem Part 2 will be at the centre in September. For more information visit

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