20,000 hand-crafted moths will be used to create an immersive display for COP26, the UN climate change conference. Made by people all over the world, the moths will represent a creative call for urgent action on climate change.
As visitors walk through the installation at Glasgow Botanic Gardens, they will hear whispers of hope and encouragement recorded by people who want their voices to be heard.
‘Moths to a Flame’ is run by the Devon-based Art and Energy Collective in partnership with Plymouth Energy Community. Participants across the South West, nationally and internationally are creating moths and recording their messages as part of the project.
Almost 7,000 moths have been made so far by groups from Devon to Australia, and people are invited to create their own moths to be part of the installation.
Chloe Uden, one of the project organisers said:
“We want to invite people to make a creative response to the climate emergency, and to develop the skills we need to imagine and create a better future. This project enables people to connect, to respond creatively, to show they care, and to have their voices heard.
“Through Moths to a Flame, we’re offering people the opportunity to spend time thinking about energy, where it comes from, and how it’s embodied by all living creatures. We’re encouraging them to come up with great ideas for their local communities as well as collectively demonstrating their concerns to the world during COP26.
“We want people to feel invited to be part of the conversation about climate change, which is a difficult conversation to have. We’re all responsible, but we don’t want to judge people; we want to encourage them to think creatively about how they can help to bring about change. The installation will be a representation of our gathering, a demonstration of our feelings.
“This is an important moment in time for a cultural response. In a state of emergency, our thinking can become narrowed and limited. This is an opportunity for us to show that culture can not only be part of the response to the climate emergency, but also part of the potential solution. Creative thinking can help us to imagine things that haven’t happened before, to create a new future.”
Moths are being created during a series of in-person and online events. At the events, participants learn about moths, ecology and energy as well as sharing creative ideas to make a moth and record their whispered message.
The moths are made from reused plastic milk bottles, decorated and painted with ultraviolet paint so that they will glow in the dark. They will be hung from the trees to create an immersive experience when world leaders and other visitors walk through the installation.
The messages visitors hear will be whispered messages of hope, encouragement, feelings and concerns.
People are invited to create their own moths to be part of the installation. More information is available on the Moths to a Flame website, including how to make and contribute a moth and how to record and send your message to be part of the installation.
The Moths to a Flame installation will be at Glasgow Botanic Gardens during COP26 from 1 to 12 November.