Carbon Arts was invited to be a provocateur at the Splendid Arts Lab in 2011. Splendid is a partnership between the Splendour in the Grass festival and leading art agencies looking to develop talent and offer festival audiences new creative experiences. For two weeks shortlisted artists live and work together in a hothouse environment to develop competing arts proposals for the following year’s festival.

With Carbon Arts Splendid artists explored both their own ecological footprints and that of their work, but more importantly were encouraged to consider the development of works that take on sustainability as a theme on-site or beyond.

Festivals are like cities and societies in miniature and thereby offer great opportunities for artists to engage and experiment with some big challenges, such as sustainability, in ways that could be scaled and reproduced in larger contexts.

Matt Morris, Splendour’s environmental manager, worked with us to open up the possibilities for artists to engage with the environmental strategies on site and offer the festival as a testing ground for the role of artists in catalysing meaningful social and environmental change.

We also got a chance to participate in one of the festival’s public forums, on how art can address climate change, with scientists, musicians, politicians and comedians. Heaps of fun!