Internationally Acclaimed Conceptual Artist and Activist Mary Ellen Carroll!s indestructible language Monumental Red Neon Artwork to Illuminate the Glasgow Skyline During 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26)
The work is on view from 30 October 2021 to 31 January 2022
The monumental neon artwork, indestructible language, by New York-based conceptual artist and activist Mary Ellen Carroll/MEC studios will launch at 7pm (GMT + 1) on Saturday, October 30, on the eve of UN Climate Conference in Glasgow (COP26).
indestructible language consists of three meter high illuminated red neon characters made of lead-free glass, powered 100% by renewable energy, spelling out the phrase: IT IS GREEN THINKS NATURE EVEN IN THE DARK. The artwork is situated on the roof of The Schoolhouse, an historic Victorian building in the centre of Glasgow, visible from COP 26 and the M8, the busiest motorway in Scotland, where it will be seen by millions both locally and virtually.
The installation – which also acts as a beacon – uses language to highlight the multiple meanings and areas of concern around the climate emergency, challenging viewers to respond to the work, to reflect on its many readings and their own actions around climate change. “IT IS” immediately states a condition, that the climate emergency is one of extreme relevance and a scientific fact; “GREEN”, a complimentary colour to the red neon letters, can represent plant growth, environmental campaigning, and the green economy. “THINKS” reinforces the human capacity to engage in cognitive acts to make informed decisions based in science, while “NATURE” signifies itself, earth, atmosphere, ecosystems and the outside. “EVEN” reminds us that the issue is nonpartisan and envisions a rebalancing to carbon neutrality. “IN THE DARK” is a formal declaration: the artwork is only visible in the dark and this reflexive statement questions the viewer!s decision to choose to engage with or ignore the issue.
indestructible language is supported by Kind World Foundation, Love, Tito’s, MCM, Stardust, Sub Club, TransArt
Foundation, Turtle Conservancy, Urban Office, and private donors including M. Asselin / J. Meltzer and Melanie Shorin / Greg Feldman, and others who are committed to climate action.
Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, comments: “Arts and culture have a centre stage role in our discussions on climate change, helping make it meaningful to people. While global leaders are meeting at the SEC, Mary Ellen Carroll!s work and its landmark location can trigger conversations about the climate crisis amongst our citizens and those tuning in from across the planet. I!m looking forward to seeing how Glaswegians and visiting delegates alike respond to this prominent and provocative work.”
“Collectively we need to ethically imagine how the actions to combat the climate emergency that we commit to in COP 26 and for the future can be accomplished,” said Mary Ellen Carroll/MEC studios. “Illuminating indestructible
language in Glasgow during COP 26 aims to amplify this moment and highlights the urgent need to commit, think and work together as stewards of nature to take responsibility for the future of our world.”
“indestructible language is a testament of Glasgow’s commitment to sustainability, and our city’s rich heritage and its value of culture,” said Councillor Philip Braat, The Lord Provost of Glasgow. “I am thrilled that this important artwork is in our city, and as a beacon it will inspire and amplify the necessity for ambitious actions by everyone in the race to become carbon neutral.”
“As a public work of art indestructible language is a siren to commit to thinking acts. Stardust supports art as a activator for sustainable change and social justice, and it is important to see work this in Glasgow,” said Molly Gochman, the founder of Stardust. “Mary Ellen Carroll’s work of art is a foundation for the public’s commitment to act in the climate emergency.”
“indestructible language will be much more than a symbol of COP26, it will be a powerful icon and legacy for Glasgow,” said Lesley Logan, Urban Office.