Environmental activists stick to paint in protest – ARTnews.com

Environmental activists stick to paint in protest – ARTnews.com

Two environmental activists glued themselves to a painting in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow yesterday, while three others spray-painted a column in the museum with the words ‘Just Stop Oil’, the art diary reports.

The activists belong to the environmental group Just Stop Oil, a coalition of activist organizations in the UK whose members regularly commit acts of civil disobedience. In another case, a young activist tied himself to a goal post during a football match.

Activists Carmen Lean and Hannah Torrance Bright attached themselves to Horatio McCulloch’s painting My heart is in the Highlands (1860). No damage was reported to McCulloch’s board.

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Torrance Bright is currently a student at the Glasgow School of Art and Lean is an architecture student.

“I’m an artist, I love art, but instead of spending my time making art, I take actions like this, spend time in and out of cells and get punished by our justice system for begging the government to let my generation have a future,” Torrance Bright said in a statement released by Just Stop Oil. “We hold these works of art sacred, but what is it? more sacred than life itself?

Lean explained the choice of My heart is in the Highlands in the same statement.

“This landscape was painted in 1860 at the height of the clearings of the highlands, when whole crofting [small scale farming] communities have been evicted by a new class of landlords ruthlessly pursuing their own private interests,” Lean said. “It wasn’t until the crofters organized and resisted that they won rights.”

Lean added that the threat from oil and gas companies should inspire people to learn from history, saying, “Civil disobedience is scary but it’s the only sane thing to do and you won’t regret it.”

The art diary reported that as the protesters were led out of the museum, one said that “the art world is responsible; every sector of our culture is responsible.

The museum closed early yesterday but reopened with normal hours today.

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