Public Art Project Takes on Climate Change

The Miami HighWaterLine (2013) Photo via: Invisible Dust
The Miami HighWaterLine (2013) Photo via: Invisible Dust

A blue chalk line has begun to weave its way around the streets of Bristol, in what is set to become the largest artwork ever commissioned in the UK, the Guardian reports.

The piece of public art is part of the HighWaterLine project, created by American artist Eve Mosher. The project marks out parts of a city that are at risk of disappearing under water as a result of climate change. New York City, Miami, and Boston are some of the cities in which Mosher has intervened since the project began in 2007.

She chose Bristol due to the risk of flooding caused by its proximity to the Bristol Channel, which has the world’s second-highest tidal range. Over the next two weeks hundreds of local residents are expected to take part in drawing the 32-mile-long line across the city.

The team behind the project used data from the Environment Agency and Bristol city council, and worked with Bristol University’s school of geography to ensure the piece is backed by science. They have acknowledged, however, that the line might not be a 100 percent accurate.

Still, the project has proven to be an effective method of visualization of the impacts of climate change. For her first HighWaterLine in 2007, Mosher drew a line 10 feet (3 meters) above sea level around the coast of New York City. When Hurricane Sandy subsequently hit the area in October 2012, many places around the route she marked did indeed flood.


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