November 29th, 2007
The Art Gallery of Ontario Youth Council is committed to bringing to light social issues that affect our world and local communities through creative art projects. One of our core values is a deep concern for environmental issues, specifically climate change and environmental sustainability.
The AGO Youth Council worked in Spring 2007 with guest artist Jeffrey McLarnon to create a forest out of paper waste produced by the AGO in one month that would otherwise have been recycled. Through this work, Carbon Copy, the Youth Council is hoping to spread awareness throughout the artistic community about the dangers of carbon dioxide and other waste by-products in our atmosphere that lead to climate change and environmental degradation. The installation speaks to issues of climate change and questions the artist’s environmental responsibility when creating projects.
Carbon Copy’s message is twofold. First,it attempts to draw attention to the pressing concerns of climatechange and environmental degradation. It also aims to spread awarenessthroughout the artistic community about the dangers of carbon dioxideand other waste by-products in the atmosphere, which are currentlythreatening the fragile health of our planet. By diverting the energycosts associated with recycling waste paper products and offeringanother alternative, this sculpture shifts the focus back to the secondR in the Reduce, REUSE, Recycle slogan.
The project makesa statement about the future of our planet, asking us to examine ourresponsibility as artists to strive for a sustainable artisticpractice. It also offers a worrisome message—what if we had to make allof our trees out of paper? And this may very well happen if we keepcutting trees down! Carbon Copy hopes tocompel people to respond to this warning so that we can enjoy thenatural artistic landscape of Ontario for many years to come.
The Carbon Copy installation was part of the Ignite Youth Arts Forum at the Gladstone Hotel on June 12 and 13, 2007. Carbon Copy then moved to the Art Gallery of Ontario for a 3 month showing before being shown at the Connect Art Environmental Art Showcase at the Women’s Healthy Environment Network space in the Centre for Social Innovation on November15, 2007.