Tate Modern Talk

Art in Real Life: Addressing the Sustainability Challenge

Ice watch Olafur Eliasson

​Olafur Eliasson and Minik Rosing Ice Watch Bankside, outside Tate Modern, 2018 © 2019 Olafur Eliasson and Minik Rosing

​Join Olafur Eliasson for a conversation on the potential of art to inspire change

Join artist Olafur Eliasson alongside key voices from across the social and political sphere for a conversation exploring the potential of artists and art institutions to address global sustainability challenges and inspire change.

The first in a series of events, it takes place during London’s Climate Action Week, and ahead of the opening of the major Tate Modern exhibition of Eliasson’s work.
Eliasson is joined in conversation by Clare Farrell, designer and activist, Malini Mehra, Indian climate campaigner and Commissioner to the Mayor of London and Mary Robinson, Adjunct Professor of Climate Justice, Trinity College Dublin. The discussion is chaired by Bidisha and introduced by Tate Modern’s Director, Frances Morris.
In Partnership with London Climate Action Week


Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson grew up in Iceland and Denmark. In 1995, he founded Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin, which today comprises more than one hundred team members, including craftsmen, architects, archivists, researchers, administrators, cooks, programmers, art historians and specialised technicians. Since the mid-1990s, Eliasson has realised numerous major exhibitions and projects around the world.


Bidisha is a broadcaster, journalist and artist working mainly in film and photography. She covers and campaigns on social justice, global human rights and the arts for BBC TV and radio, Channel 4 News and Sky News and undertakes cultural diplomacy and political analysis tying these interests together, usually for the British Council. She is on the board of numerous arts organisations in the UK, including the Booker Prize Foundation and the Forward Arts Foundation. Away from work, she does outreach work with asylum seekers and refugees as well as women prisoners and ex-offenders. As a director and performer her first film An Impossible Poison premiered in Berlin in 2017. It has been hugely critically acclaimed and made the official selection of numerous film festivals internationally.​

​Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson is Adjunct Professor for Climate Justice in Trinity College Dublin and Chair of The Elders. She served as President of Ireland from 1990–1997 and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997–2002. She is a member of the Club of Madrid and the recipient of numerous honours and awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom from the President of the United States Barack Obama.

Clare Farrell

Clare Farrell trained as a fashion designer and is dedicated to creative approaches to social and environmental issues. As a cofounding arts coordinator with Extinction Rebellion, Clare has been on hunger strike, been arrested, occupied buildings and blocked roads whilst also acting as a spokesperson.

Malini Mehra

Malini Mehra is a commissioner to the Mayor on sustainable development and a UN adviser. A political scientist and gender specialist by training, she has three decades of experience on sustainability in multiple sectors. From leading campaigns at Beijing, Seattle, Copenhagen and Paris, to founding an award-winning Indian climate NGO, she has co-written the UN's Human Development Reports and advised the Secretary-General on UN reform. While in the UK government, she was the architect of the UK's sustainability partnerships with emerging markets and has advised CEOs of companies including Unilever & BHP Billiton. A keen swimmer, she founded the Teach A Girl To Swim campaign to highlight the hidden global epidemic of drowning and connect it with the climate crisis and girls' empowerment.

Tate Modern

Turbine Hall

London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

8 July 2019 at 19.30–21.00