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Beth Barlow

Artist

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I have a 1:1 degree in Fine Art and Drama and an MA in Fine Art. I have worked as a socially engaged artist for 25 years alongside a career in alternative education.'

SHOW YOUR WORKING OUTS

'Show Your Working Outs' was created in collaboration with Huddersfield University for their project 'Climate Action and Visual Art'. I took my inspiration from a new piece of research created by 'Climate Outreach' which looked at different ways we might communicate climate change to different types of people. To begin I went through my back catalogue of art works and put relevant images into folders titled with the seven climate outreach demographics. I also used my much used social platforms to illicit debate. I aimed to create questions and provocations which would attract people with different perceptions of and ways of dealing with climate change. To some extent I identified least with the categories titled "backbone conservatives" "loyal nationals" and "disengaged traditionalists”. I was keen to consider how I might communicate with those whose views I found polar. I took key words such asconservation as inspiration and as the work grew I began to empathise with a loss of belonging which climate talk could bring. My Dad was an electrician and to some extent his job was his identity, it was the place he met most people and any idea that traditional industry might change would have elicited some loss. We used to have heated debates about it. This led me then to thinking about belonging and musing on how we could help people regain a sense that they belong to land and it to them. In the end the film evolved into less of a message to those groups I felt least akin to but a note to myself and other ' progressive activists'. I've come to see the film as a set of workings outs, hence the title and the form which whilst it has a rough narrative is sketchy. I'd like to understand what the next steps are. I think its original audience has flipped and instead of sharing it with those least like me I'd like to share it with other climate activists and work out what we can create now to communicate this vital message with empathy and compassion.