Since forming in early 2013, ClimActs’ succees is thanks to countless generous contributions from Angels in and out of costumes.
In late 2012 an image of Allana Beltran’s haunting Weld Angel inspired Dr Liz Conor to form Guardian Angels for the Future to advocate on climate issues. The Weld Angel was a sculptural performance art action in Tasmania’s Weld Valley (2007); a stunning ten hour, ten metre high occupation action which woke the world up to the ongoing destruction of Australia’s natural forests.
In early 2013 Quit Coal activists brought Liz Conor and Deborah Hart together to develop the climate angels idea and ClimActs founding act, Climate Guardians was born.
As Deborah and Allana were already activist colleagues and very close friends, Allana was brought in to help guide the use of her powerful angel iconography. In addition to curating and performing with us, Allana helped design and hand make the Climate Guardians’ first two sets of giant fabric wings for a special commission by the then Artistic Director of the Lorne Sculpture Biennale, Julie Collins, to open the 2014 Biennale with a Coal Requiem performance art piece. To realise this exceptional opportunity our textile artist friend Janice Appleton made five sets of wings and Tracey Naughton also made a set. This is why each set of wings is a unique artwork in itself. Our choice to work with seven angels (at the most) reflects the number of the world’s continents.
Although ClimActs’ work is largely self-funded, commissions for performance art pieces have helped enormously. In addition to the Lorne Sculpture Biennale 2104, ClimActs acts have performed in numerous creative programs for the City of Ballarat (2013, 2015), in the ArtCOP21 Festival in Paris (2015), at the official opening of Janet Laurence’s experiential installation H2O: Water Bar (Sydney Festival, 2016), the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (2016), the Biennale of Australian Art (BOAA, 2018), at the official opening of the Janet Laurence: After Nature and the retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (2019).
In addition to our current committee members, people instrumental to ClimActs’ development include Pippa Bailey, Susan Bamford Caleo, Julie Collins, Melissa Corbett, Tiffany Harrison, Carey Lai, Andrew Laird, Merryn Redenbach and the late Mandy Press.
For also helping to inspire our creative tactics, we gratefully acknowledge the brilliant work of the John Howard Ladies Auxiliary Fan Club (aka The JoHos, co-created by Zelda Grimshaw and ClimActs’ co-founder Liz Conor), The Yes Men, and the founders of Victoria’s Quit Coal Collective.