David Mansell-Moullin with his portrait of Prof Mat Collins

Unique photographic exhibition showcases human face of climate change

A striking new exhibition, now open in the Forum, presents 12 of the Exeter based (either at the University or Met Office) IPCC authors through a series of striking large-scale black and white portraits.

Entitled ‘Face 2 Face with climate change’, the artwork is the brainchild of Exeter-based One Planet MBA graduate David Mansell-Moullin.

The scientists featured in the exhibition were all authors (Coordinating, Lead or Contributing) on the latest IPCC 5th Assessment Reports on climate change. The photographic portraits are overlaid with fine text from the IPCC reports so creating a multi-dimensional representation not only of themselves but of their work. A year in the making, the project aims to reveal the people behind the science, to raise awareness of climate change and the IPCC, as well as to celebrate Exeter as a centre for thinking and research in this area. The exhibition has been planned to coincide with the launch of the IPCC Synthesis Report at the end of October 2014. 

David explains: “During my first week on the One Planet MBA I discovered that Exeter has the highest number of IPCC authors working on the 5th Assessment Report of any city in the world. I was amazed by this fact and that so few people, either in Devon or further afield, are aware that Exeter has this depth of climate change research and knowledge. I began to wonder how this could be communicated in an interesting and engaging way.”

Dr Tim Johns from the Met Office Hadley Centre added: “Climate change is a defining global challenge in this century and an issue that everyone should be aware of. Exeter may seem like an unlikely hotspot for climate science, but the juxtaposition of the expertise at Exeter University and the Met Office makes it a noteworthy centre through the large number of Exeter-based scientists that have contributed to the latest, internationally-coordinated IPCC scientific assessment. The Face2Face exhibition is a fitting celebration of this fact and I heartily congratulate David and his team on bringing to fruition the idea of visually engaging with people of all ages on climate change. I have been privileged to devote much of my career to climate science and hope the exhibition may help to inspire the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers and others, whose coordinated efforts will be sorely needed if we are all truly to face up to the challenge of a changing climate.”

The funding for the project has been provided by HEFCE, via the NUS and delivered through the Guild’s Green Unit at the University – a team put together to encourage both students and academics to come up with innovative ideas of ways to promote sustainability to their peers. The Arts and Culture team also provided assistance.

Coverage of the exhibition with additional details of the people involved can be found here

Date: 9 October 2014