Art of Rapid Transition

Art and culture will play a huge role in helping us to move towards a sustainable future. When we talk about moving away from a carbon-emitting world, what comes to mind is solar energy, organic farming and riding a bike. But what about a red dress embroidered by marginalised women from 29 countries, a 6-channel global video showing what we have to lose, or music made from climate change data?

Technological, industrial or practical fixes – like renewable energy, sustainable transport and restorative food systems – are of course vital. But how do we envisage a sustainable future? This is where the creative contribution comes in, helping us to see what solutions look like, and to envisage an alternative world that does not yet exist. It is often said that scientists help us discover our world but artists help us to imagine the future.


The Art of Rapid Transition network is where we invite artists, curators and creative thinkers of all kinds  to share their creative thinking about our possible futures. We meet online, hold events and exhibitions, publish poetry and together co-create different ways of imagining and portraying our sustainable future. We also help promote the work of others aligned with our aims.

Calling all art students!

This year we will be holding a second COP_ART27 competition, again for art students and recent graduates. We will also be working with leading artists on a series of storytelling and music events, installations and protest art. You can find out more about the competition and instructions for how to enter below.

Find out more

For example, during the pandemic, The Rapid Transition Alliance invited British artist and former winner of the Jerwood National Sculpture Prize, Judith Dean to curate a online exhibition on the theme of rapid transition called COP_ART26. The winner was April L’s piece entitled Turning Tide capturing a person with an object washed ashore along the rocky coast of Elie, in Fife, Scotland, that tells its own unique story of human activity on Earth.

Many people sought solace in poetry, art, film making and writing during the pandemic.  Art of Transition poets published a volume of poems done through remote weekly collaboration, while writers in the group discovered Solarpunk storytelling as a positive way to imagine the future. A groups of writers creating modern folktales for troubling times in a volume called Knock Three Times and the most recent volume was published in February 2022.



If your organisation would like to join the Art of Rapid Transition network please register your interest in the form below and we will be in touch.