Climate change and the regenerative power of nature is focus of inaugural public exhibition at the University of Winchester West Downs Gallery

20 Oct 2021
Green coloured statue of young man sitting on a plinth

As the world counts down to COP26 in November, the University of Winchester has opened its new gallery space to the public for the first time to enjoy an exhibition with climate change as its focus.

We Are Nature is an exhibition of photographic prints and maquettes by internationally renowned sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor. Taylor's large scale underwater installations can be found across the world, attached to the seabed, slowly transforming into thriving habitats for marine life.

This landlocked exhibition of maquettes and photographic prints offers a unique opportunity to experience his work without having to dive under the waves, provoking conversations about climate change, the fragility of our oceans and the regenerative power of nature.

"Our oceans are at the forefront of climate change. Warming seas, ocean acidification, habitat loss and overfishing are driving marine ecologies towards a point of no return," said Jason deCaires Taylor.

"As we lead up to COP26, it is crucial that we are reminded of these issues and realise that all our lives are deeply connected to its fate."

White sculpture on a plinth of young boy sitting hugging his knees

Jason deCaires Taylor is a sculptor, environmentalist and professional underwater photographer. His permanent site-specific sculptural works are predominately exhibited underwater in submerged and tidal marine environments, exploring modern themes of conservation and environmental activism. Over the past 15 years, Taylor has been one of the first to consider the underwater realm as a public art space and is best known for his numerous large scale underwater 'museums' and 'sculpture parks'.

The exhibition is hosted in the gallery space in the University of Winchester's West Downs Centre, a major campus development which was completed in June 2020. We Are Nature is the inaugural exhibition open to the public in the new gallery.

We Are Nature is part of the University of Winchester's programme of public events marking the United Nation's Climate Conference COP26, which takes place in Glasgow in November. The programme of events is available on the University of Winchester website at: www.echosystemes.com/cop26 

The exhibition is open until 17 December 2021. The West Downs Gallery is open from 8am until 6pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am until 4pm on Saturday. 

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