As the UN Climate Change conference in Copenhagen approaches the art world turns it attention to this most pressing of global issues with “Earth: Art of a changing world” an exhibition presented by the Royal Academy of Arts in London.  Featuring new and recent works by over 30 leading contemporary artists, it represents the impact of climate change on modern society through the works of Lucy and Jorge Orta, Anthony Gormley. Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt and Darren Almond.

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Despite the best intentions of the exhibition, which opens tomorrow, it has been overshadowed by comments from Brit-Art’s most outspoken member, Tracey Emin.  Her embroidered bird work “Throw yourself at anyone” is included in the exhibit but this week she has been making controversial statements about her approach to climate change, declaring “I’m not a good person. I’m a bad advert. I take too many planes… I keep my heating on all day and night because I get really cold and I’m scared of the dark so I sleep with the light on.”  Whilst its great to see the established art community, which has been quite insular, taking a stand on such a political issue its just a shame that Emin’s comments have diminished its impact.

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“Earth: Art of a changing world” is on at the RSA London from 3rd December 2009 until 31st January 2010, if you check it out in the next couple of weeks you can also catch the astounding Anish Kapoor retrospective… so dont sleep!