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Early Warning Signs (2011)

Early Warning Signs

Initiated at Two Degrees festival by British artist and activist Ellie Harrison in 2011, this artwork consists of four ‘climate change’ signs -designed to mimic those you might find outside a garage or a Bureau de Change- and originally took up residence along Commercial Street in London.

On a mission to ‘promote’ the issue of climate change, Harrison utilises the same brash, attention-grabbing marketing technique as many high-street vendors and in doing so, comments on the connection between climate change, consumption, and capitalism.

Like many of Ellie’s projects, the legacy of these objects has continued, and now the four rotating 'climate change' signs continue to tour the country, promoting their cause long into the future. Each autumn, four new host venues are invited to 'adopt a sign', agreeing to keep it on public display for the following year.

Ellie’s reason for asking arts organisations to ‘adopt’ the signs stemmed from the contradiction she found herself facing after producing the artworks. Her motto, “REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE YOUR ART” had been compromised in paying for these signs to be produced and delivered to their original home, for a week-long festival focused on sustainability and the impact of constant production and consumption. The only way Harrison could align this artwork with her values was to ensure the signs lived on, and became the facilitator of a lifelong project, touring the signs to different public locations.

The host venues for 2014 are here at FACT (Liverpool), Beaconsfield Gallery (London), Gallery of Modern Art (Glasgow), and Aspex Gallery (Portsmouth).