” The famous French artist Marc Chagall once said “great art picks up where nature ends”.

It is in many ways true: whether on social, economic or environmental issues art has not only the potential to profoundly echo the challenges and humanity’s impacts on our one shared home – Earth.

Art can also, by referencing humanity’s relationship with the natural world, change our perspectives, open our minds and inspire action that can lead to the transformations we so urgently need.

This is why together as the heads of two central UN entities we decided to support the Artists 4 Paris Climate 2015 initiative as one way of bringing not only the issue of desertification and the loss of healthy productive land into centre stage, but also as a way of bringing beauty and creativity to the big UN climate conference in Paris in a way in which both artists and the public can contribute to climate action.

Artists contributing to this project have come from all corners of the planet in order to make their point to world leaders and the general public…”


Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

Artists 4 Paris Climate 2015 catalogue foreword extract, November 2015




International leading artists

Recognized for their commitment as well as their ability to mobilize the widest audience, visual artists from around the world, both North and South, have agreed to participate in the initiative. They will either create a completely new work inspired by the crucial issues of the Conference or one from a previous project, especially echoing this global diplomatic event.


List of the 14 invited artists

Edward Burtynsky (Canada), Olafur Eliasson (Denmark), Janet Laurence (Australia), Vera Lutter (Germany), Gideon Mendel (South Africa), Ernesto Neto (Brasil), Pavel Pepperstein (Russia), Dan Perjovschi (Romania), Michelangelo Pistoletto (Italy), Tomas Saraceno (Argentina), Taryn Simon (USA), Mikhael Subotzky (South Africa) & Patrick Waterhouse (United Kingdom), Yann Toma (France)Yin Xiuzhen (China).