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Breaking environmental barriers through art

8 May 2024

Project Elevate showcased at the Museum after Dark event

The local sanctuary community, including asylum seekers and refugees, collaborated with academics from our school and local artists to bring awareness to pressing environmental issues.

Project ‘Elevate’ focused on the rising occurrence of lightning strikes, driven by global warming, and its impact on our planet including recently discovered atmospheric lightning.

Led by Dr Phillip Lugg-Widger, Elevate aimed to spark cross-cultural conversations about environmental challenges while encouraging inclusivity and cultural understanding. Through workshops at our school, researchers, lecturers, artists, and the community worked together to co-create artwork.

This project was showcased at our Museum After Dark event on February 14, 2024, where the lightning-themed artwork and a video were unveiled to the wider public in an interactive and engaging experience. Now, the artwork finds a permanent home in Queen's Building at Cardiff University and the Oasis building in Cardiff, for ongoing environmental awareness.

Phillip Lugg-Widger, Lecturer and project lead for Elevate, said: "The amount of natural lightning strikes is increasing due to global warming and we need to understand its impact on our world including newly discovered atmospheric lightning. This project was a way to encourage cross-cultural discussions on environmental issues as well as gaining an increased understanding of barriers to inclusion and broader cultural experiences which further enhances our future research.

By engaging with the general public at events like Museum After Dark, we aimed to inform and increase awareness of the environment and EDI, highlighting areas for change.
Phillip Lugg-Widger

"This artwork will be used as part of our wider outreach programme, and we look forward to working with Oasis Cardiff and the wider community on other projects in the future."

Noteworthy contributors to the project included Debbie Syrop (Public Engagement Officer), Daniel Mitchard (Lecturer), Chantal Williams (Producer), Gareth Leaman (Videographer), Naz Syed (mosaic and creative art), and Andy O'Rourke (light trail photography).

Funding for Elevate was provided by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) as part of the Growing Roots pilot scheme. We are especially grateful for the support from Oasis Cardiff who organised the community participants and National Museum Cardiff for hosting our exhibition.


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