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LOOK Climate Lab 2022

Ahead of the LOOK Photo Biennial 2022, LOOK Climate Lab 2022 at Open Eye Gallery brings together a series of research projects engaging with climate change.

A portrait of Aioh Mbayoh, Dwarzack, Freetown, Sierra Leone
Aioh Mbayoh, Dwarzack, Freetown, Sierra Leone from the series Wata Na Life. 1854 x WaterAid: The Climate Commission © Ngadi Smart 2021

A series of research projects on climate change are currently on show at LOOK Climate Lab 2022.

The multi-gallery exhibition at Open Eye Gallery is taking place ahead of LOOK Photo Biennial 2022.

It asks: ‘What are the images we think of when we think of climate change?’ and ‘What is out social responsibility when it comes to reshaping this visual narrative?’.

Responsive programme coordinator Sorcha Boyle said: “We’re very excited to launch LOOK Climate Lab 2022, which is a new and experimental way of working for Open Eye Gallery.

“Through the lab, we will look at how photography and visual culture can be used as a way of engaging with positive solutions around the climate crisis, while learning from partners working in this area.

“We hope the lab will spark new conversations, encourage visitors to advocate for change and inform our thinking as we continue to develop these projects over the next month as we move towards LOOK Photo Biennial 2022.”

LOOK Climate Lab 2022

LOOK Climate Lab is organised into five themes – energy, materials, transport, nature, and food.

Partners are taking over three galleries and using them as a lab space, with audiences invited to participate in the research process and talk through ideas.

Open Eye Gallery believes visual culture has a role to play in activism by making difficult or abstract ideas accessible.

Permanent exhibitions and one-off events are taking place throughout the installation.

A visitor views a projected image at LOOK Climate Lab 2022
Installation shot LOOK Climate Lab 2022

Gallery 1

Gallery 1 hosts a permanent exhibition featuring new commissions by Calvin Chow, Marisol Mendez & Monty Kaplan, and Ngadi Smart.

The projects were commissioned by WaterAid in collaboration with 1854 Studio and British Journal of Photography.

They explore the ways in which the climate crisis is making it harder for people to access their basic human rights of clean water, decent sanitation and personal hygiene — especially in some of the world’s poorest countries.

The projects span three continents, highlighting communities in Sierra Leone, Cambodia and Colombia who are facing the unmistakable impacts of climate change.

Minecraft figures on a pedestal at LOOK Climate Lab 2022
Installation shot LOOK Climate Lab 2022

Gallery 2

The projects in Gallery 2 change throughout the lab in response to its five themes.

Gallery 2 operates as a space for discussions, hosting workshops and talks and encouraging visitors to ask questions and understand how to advocate for change at a range of levels.

Projects on display include:

  • Drone films by Adam Fish documenting the geological impact of the anthropocene
  • Climate Wicked Geogame by researchers at the CCAT project using Minecraft to envision desirable climate futures
  • Salford Energy House Photographers-in-Residence Mccoy Wynne in partnership with University of Salford Art Collection
  • Photography by Sam Wallis exploring plankton and microplastics
  • Teresa Hardy’s video work on the textile industry and sustainable fashion
  • Sunsum in Spirit by Delphine Fawundu
  • Ecology 2, a project creating geospatial ecosystems by Adam Sadiq
  • A seed display by Scouse Flowerhouse
  • Groundwork volunteer portraits by Hellen Songa
A plant nursery at Open Eye Gallery
Installation shot LOOK Climate Lab 2022

Gallery 3

Gallery 3 houses a plant nursery where visitors can donate or swap plants.

It also has a digital archive which will be updated with content from a range of artists, scientists, lecturers, communities and others taking part in the programme.

Projects on display include:

  • Fossil Fuel Memories by Niina Uusitalo
  • A responsive website with climate change prompts by Then There Was Us
  • The Mersey Green Map displaying local green enterprises and voluntary groups
  • Research on agrotextiles and recycled fabrics made from waste materials by Michelle Pratt
  • B 4 Biodiversity pollination video
  • William Roscoe talking about the opening of the first botanical garden for Arts Groupie
  • A filmed weed identification walk by Growing Sudley

LOOK Climate Lab 2022 is on until March 20 at Open Eye Gallery.

For more information on opening times and events visit