New York-based Artist Illuminates Glasgow Skyline

Drivers on the M8 passing Kinning Park will have been stunned by the sight of a neon art installation on one of the buildings. The red art piece is lighting up the Glasgow skyline over the course of the UN Conference of Parties (COP26).

Image Credit: Aodhan Gallagher

Behind the installation is New York- based artist Mary Ellen Carroll, who said: “The piece is called ‘indestructible language’ and the first iteration was done for an organisation called The Precipice Alliance which was founded in 2006 by photographer Joel Sternfeld and publisher Donna Wingate.

“They were commissioning large scale works on existential crises so the first was climate and I had the first commission and because my work is conceptually based, everything begins in language and because the science that we knew, instead of a melting iceberg or a polar bear, it was important to have something that people would actually think about and ponder for their own commitment.”

The neon lettering consists of three-meter-high illuminated words made of lead-free glass and powered by 100% renewable energy, spelling out the phrase: IT IS GREEN THINKS NATURE EVEN IN THE DARK and it is situated on the roof of The Schoolhouse, visible from the M8 motorway and the SEC Hydro, where the negotiations are taking place

Image Source: Aodhan Gallagher

The installation is set to be here until 31st January 2022 but may potentially stay longer, Carroll said: “We are here through January of 2022 but as what happens when people fall in love, sometimes you stay longer than is expected.”

Carroll, who has been very involved in climate activism for most of her life said that: “Part of ‘Indestructible Language’ is that it should point to actions that people are taking.

“We are going to see a lot of people moving because of the impact of the climate emergency and so we have a program called RSVP that is specifically for unaccompanied children that is in the works right now.”

On the wall outside The Schoolhouse building where the piece is located, there is a banner promoting The Turtle Conservancy, an organisation founded by Tiger King filmmaker and friend of Carroll’s, Eric Goode that aims to help protect sea turtles.

 Carroll said: “Turtles lay their eggs underground, but when their eggs are laid you don’t know he gender of the turtle that is going to be born and the temperature of the ground determines what gender those turtles will actually be.”

Research shows that if the temperature of the ground is too cold for freshly laid turtle eggs, the turtle eggs may be very slow or the egg may fail to hatch, if the temperature is too high it can lead to deformities in the baby turtles.

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