• Last Words by Heather O'Neill & Jean-Paul Kelly
  • Vanishing Glaciers by James Balog & Extreme Ice Survey
  • Gentle Reminders by Shad
  • Last Words by Heather O'Neill & Jean-Paul Kelly
  • Vanishing Glaciers by James Balog & Extreme Ice Survey
  • Gentle Reminders by Shad
Project Dates:
November 05, 2012
November 18, 2012

Toronto subway platform screens; video boards at Yonge/Richmond & Yonge/Adelaide; digital billboard Gardiner/Kippling


Ship of Fools: Artists and Climate Change – November 2012

Ship of Fools  docks in Toronto

Pattison Onestop and Cape Farewell Foundation co-present  Ship of Fools: Artists and Climate Change, a multi-site urban screens project throughout Toronto addressing the reality of the climate challenge through a cultural lens, from November 5th  to 18th, 2012.

Responding to Cape Farewell Foundation’s mandate to instigate a cultural response to climate change, Ship of Fools: Artists and Climate Change utilizes Pattison’s advertising screens, and draws on the creativity of a range of artists to communicate on a metropolitan scale.

Vanishing Glaciers, four stunning time-lapse videos by internationally acclaimed outdoor photographer James Balog, capture over 5 years of astonishing changes, dramatically documenting the ice melt of glaciers in Greenland, Iceland and Alaska. Vanishing Glaciers plays every 10 minutes on Pattison Onestop’s network of subway platform screens across Toronto, bringing this powerful and vitally important work to over one million daily commuters.

“Ice matters. It’s the place where we can see and hear and feel climate change in action. When ice melts, everyone – regardless of age or ideological persuasion – can understand what it means,” states acclaimed photographer, James Balog.

Award-winning Canadian novelist, Heather O’Neill (Lullabies for Little Criminals) and multi-medium artist, Jean-Paul Kelly have collaborated to produce Last Words, a site-specific allegorical work for Pattison Outdoor billboards located at the entrance to buildings in Toronto’s financial district – Yonge/Adelaide and Yonge/Richmond.

Stressing the urgency and need for global climate care, pithy reminders written by Juno award-winning Canadian hip-hop star, Shad, are presented on the strategically located west-end Pattison Outdoor digital billboard along the Gardiner Expressway at Kipling Ave.

“This urban screens program is pioneering and Cape Farewell is excited to work with the Canadian writer Heather O’Neill and poet Shad to vision the new, through the art-form of short digital imaginings. In addition, James Balog’s awesome glacial time lapses shockingly state the speed of the impact of climate change on our frozen north,” says David Buckland, Cape Farewell founder and International Director.

“It is rare that I have the opportunity to be part of such an important project, one which increases our environmental literacy, and helps escalate the necessity of rethinking our future. I am very pleased to bring these powerful works to the Pattison screens,” said Sharon Switzer, Arts Programmer and Curator, Pattison Onestop.

Last Words – Tiger by Heather O’Neill with illustrations by Jean-Paul Kelly.

Last Words – Muskox by Heather O’Neill with illustrations by Jean-Paul Kelly.

Vanishing Glaciers – Columbia Glacier, Alaska by James Balog & Extreme Ice Survey.

Vanishing Glaciers – Sólheimajökull Glacier, Iceland by James Balog & Extreme Ice Survey.

Ship of Fools: Artists and Climate Change is a prologue to Carbon 14: Climate is Culture Cape Farewell’s ambitious programme whose centrepiece is a large-scale exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum’s Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC), slated to open in the fall of 2013. The ROM exhibition will be surrounded by a rich series of public events, satellite projects and partnerships with theatre, film, and educational organizations in Toronto and beyond, all addressing what is one of the most pressing issues of our time, climate change.

Ship of Fools: Artists and Climate Change is curated by Sharon Switzer, and co-presented by Pattison Onestop and the Cape Farewell Foundation. Vanishing Glaciers by James Balog are courtesy of Earth Vision Trust.

About Cape Farewell Foundation – Now in its twelfth year, the international Cape Farewell project inspires the creative voice of artists and the cultural community to raise awareness of the climate challenge and work to vision a sustainable future. Scientists have defined the reality of climate change and the solutions rest with us – climate is culture. www.capefarewellfoundation.com

About Earth Vision Trust (EVT) – Founded by James Balog; EVT is dedicated to educating and inspiring the public, and fostering the prosperity and health of human society through innovative visual exploration of our changing environment. www.earthvisiontrust.org   www.extremeicesurvey.org

For more information please contact: Marie Nazar, Arts Publicist, Pattison Onestop – 416.762.7702 or mnazar@idirect.ca