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Climate change: The artists taking a stand

In the slowly sinking city of Venice, a new sculpture erected during the Venice Biennale examines the human hand in climate change

By Stephanie Cavagnaro
Published 14 Aug 2017, 09:00 BST, Updated 12 Jul 2021, 10:27 BST
Support by Lorenzo Quinn

Support by Lorenzo Quinn

Photograph by Support Venice

As climate change continues to affect UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Venice, this is no time to rest on our laurels. That's the message from Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn's latest work, titled Support: two giant hands erupt from the Grand Canal to support the Ca' Sagredo Hotel's sinking façade. The 30ft sculpture was installed during the Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition, and will remain in its precarious position until 26 November.

The installation is poignant for a city steadily slipping under water, where rising sea levels cause frequent floods. The art's intention is to symbolise humanity's destructive hand at a time when the US has withdrawn from the Paris Agreement, glaciers are shrinking at an alarming rate and many of the world's coral reefs are disappearing. The artist posits: are the hands holding up the building or about to let it fall? "The hand holds so much power," says Quinn. "The power to love, to hate, to create, to destroy."

Top 3: Eco warriors


Coral bleaching isn't only affecting Australia's Great Barrier Reef — climate change is destroying much of the world's reefs at an unprecedented rate. Chasing Coral, a documentary released on Netflix on 14 July, investigates why the reefs are disappearing and captures the damage done to this delicate ocean ecosystem.

Climate change is more than just statistics. Faces of Change, a new project led by photographer Lisa Murray, aims to raise awareness about its impact on humanity. Visit the website or Instagram (@facesofclimatechange) for stories about people affected by the issue and how they're adapting to their rapidly changing environment.

Extreme Ice, a new exhibition running until early 2019 at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry, highlights how over 90% of the world's glaciers are in retreat. Marvel at the work of photographer James Balog and his team with time-lapse videography and images of 24 melting glaciers across the globe.

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Published in the September 2017 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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