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Ten artists’ projects finalists of the COAL Art and Environment Prize 2015 “Objective COP21” – Six projects nominated for the special prize “Oceans”.

The COAL Art and Environment Prize reveals the richness of the answers brought by the artists to the current environmental problems. Each year, it honors ten projects by artists working in the field of visual arts in connection with environmental issues, which are selected through an international call for projects. One of them is awarded the COAL Art and Environment Prize by a jury of art and ecology personalities.

In 2015, from November 30 to December 11, 2015, France will host COP21, the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference. The COP21 is a crucial international meeting for the fight against climate change. Its goal is to commit all countries to a universal agreement to contain global warming to 2 degrees Celsius by 2100.

The 2015 edition of the COAL Art and Environment Prize is part of the COP21 and aims to bring to the general public and political actors other ways of understanding the complexity of the climate challenge through a multiplicity of views and creative and innovative proposals.

The essentially political and scientific approach to ecological issues, to the detriment of the dissemination of a true culture of change, encourages the disengagement of citizens, the feeling of powerlessness and inaction. However, the ecological transition is an opportunity for a new impetus for society, which artists and cultural circles, through their transversal and disinterested vision, have the power to carry. Today, a true artistic movement that combines social and environmental transformation and creative act is emerging all over the world. The COAL Art and Environment Prize 2015 gives him the floor.

The COAL Art and Environment Prize 2015 one of the flagship actions of the ArtCOP21 event, the Cultural Agenda of COP21 developed by COAL and Cape Farewell. Through a call for projects, the COAL Prize called on artists to reflect on climate change in order to mobilize public opinion around a new, positive and sustainable vision of the world. The ten selected artists thus propose other ways of apprehending the complexity of the climate challenge through a multiplicity of views and creative and innovative approaches.

The COAL Prize is enriched in 2015 with a special “Oceans” Prize developed in partnership with Tara Expéditions.

The COAL Award ceremony will take place on September 17 at the Museum of Hunting and Nature.


Collective Disaster (Belgium), Temple of Holy Shit

(Timothy Furstnau and Andrea Steves – USA), True Market Cost

Alex Hartley
(England, Born 1963), Nowhere

Monte Laster
(USA-France, Born in 1959), CO-OP

Livin Studio
(Katharina Unger and Julia Kaisinger) – Austria, Fungi Mutarium

Mare Liberum
(USA), Mergitur sed Regurgitat

(USA – Australia – Greece), Climate Change Hip-Hop Opera

Julie Navarro
(France, born in 1972), Droséra

Stéfane Perraud and Aram Kebabdjian
(France, born in 1975 and 1978), Soleil Noir

Yesenia Thibault-Picazo
(France, Born in 1987), Craft in the Anthropocene


Global warming is everyone’s business. Limiting it to 2°C thanks to a binding agreement uniting the nations gathered at the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11, 2015, is the hope of containing rising waters, food insecurity, species extinction, ocean acidification or the disappearance of “unique and threatened” systems such as coral reefs. Without everyone’s involvement, the negotiations that will take place at the end of the year cannot succeed. The artists nominated for the COAL Prize 2015 have imagined collective, citizen projects, at global and local scales, carrying solutions, narratives, warnings and new models that participate in awareness and action.

Shaun Gladwell, BMX channel, 2013

Three artist collectives are working to change our individual daily impact on climate change by reversing the laws of consumption and living. Livin Studio, an Austrian artist duo composed of Katharina Unger and Julia Kasinger, develops
Fungi Mutarium
a prototype of mycelium culture capable of degrading persistent toxic waste by transforming it into edible biomass. The Canadian duo FICTILIS, composed of Timothy Furstnau and Andrea Steves, proposes, with the participative installation
True Cost Market
a grocery store where each product is sold at its real price, once the cost of its environmental and societal externalities is integrated. The loop is closed with the
Temple of Holy Shit
Collective Disaster, dedicated to the recycling of human body waste. A transdisciplinary and collaborative project that humorously reminds us that we are all producers of fertile soil, a real alternative to chemical agricultural inputs.


Paris Tsitsos 2014


Energy, scientific speculations and time scales are the major notions of human impact on the climate that fuel the imagination of artists. Julie Navarro initiates us with
to an aesthetic journey on the relationship between man and his landscapes, along the peat bogs of the Limousin. These geological formations act as true carbon “sinks” and contribute to the natural regulation of the climate. The artist Stéfane Perraud and the writer Aram Kebabdjian take us into a futuristic fiction where the first prototype of a photovoltaic ice pump designed to contain global warming would have been born. This
Black Sun
appears as a monument dedicated to the ambivalent scientific utopia and to the uncertainty of our energy transfers. The Anglo-French artist Yesenia Thibault-Picazo, also explores the possible fictions of a future geology with
Craft in the Anthropocene
a speculative design project on the soils and anthropized resources of tomorrow.


Yesenia Thibault-Picazo, Plastic sediment from the Mediterranean.

Our destructive behavior calls for a new ethical and political quest based on utopia, the theory of the commons, sharing of resources and wealth, collaboration and civic engagement. The Englishman, Alex Hartley, approaches it by imagining a utopian space, without borders and without jurisdiction, dedicated to free thought.
Nowhere is an island, a non-place, composed of all the commons that exist today outside the laws and regulations of the 196 nations of the world. Extraterritoriality appears to be the only possibility for thinking about a united and peaceful humanity. From the global to the ultralocal, there is only one step, which Monte Laster takes with
an aesthetic and democratic project, which questions the way in which art can be a vector of action and reflection on living together on the scale of the territory of Seine-Saint-Denis. The artists also intend to raise awareness and put pressure on the negotiators.
Mergitur sed Regurgitat
from the New York collective Mare Liberum, mixes poetry and creative activism. Echoing the motto of the city of Paris “Fluctuat Nec Mergitur” (It is beaten by the waves, but does not sink), they will sail during the COP21 on the Archipelagist, a paper boat that has the ability to sink and resurface. Powerful metaphor for climate change and our power to act…


Alex Hartley, Nowhere Island, 2012


Art inscribes historical revolutions in our common imagination. Because we all hope that this COP21 will go down in history, MELD, which brings together nearly fifteen artists, creates the
Climate Change Hip-Hop Opera
a total artistic project, to inscribe the fight against climate change in the cultural and aesthetic history of humanity.


Monte Laster, Urban fairy tales, Cité des 4000 2010



Hortense Le Calvez and Mathieu Goussin
(France, born in 1988 and born in 1985), Corals 2.0

Nicolas Floc’h
(France, Born in 1970), Productive structures

Jérémy Gobé
(France, Born in 1986), MOSE / Latistellata

Elsa Guillaume
(France, Born in 1989), Coral Cosmography

Henrik Håkansson
(Sweden, born 1968), The Coral Sea

Mrugen Rathod
(India, Born in 1982), Untitled


agnès b. designer
Claude d’Anthenaise
, chief curator of the Museum of Hunting and Nature
Élodie Bernollin, Tara Expéditions’ Communications Director
Philippe Cury, oceanographer, director of research at the IRD (Institute of Research for Development)
Anne Ged, Director of the Paris Climate Agency
Emma Lavigne, Director of the Centre Pompidou-Metz



The winner of the COAL Art and Environment Prize 2015 will receive an endowment of 5,000 euros and a residence at the Domaine de Belval (Ardennes), property of the François Sommer Foundation, with additional financial support for production.

The François Sommer Foundation has joined forces with COAL to award the 2015 COAL Art and Environment Prize with a unique artistic creation residency at the Belval estate, along with financial support for production.
The François Sommer Foundation, recognized as a public utility since its creation on November 30, 1966, was created by François and Jacqueline Sommer, pioneers in the implementation of a humanist ecology. Faithful to the commitments of its founders, it works for the protection of a biodiversity where man finds his rightful place, for the respectful use of nature’s resources and the sharing of the wealth of natural, artistic and cultural heritage.

The domain of Belval is located in the commune of Belval-Bois-des-Dames. With a surface area of 600 hectares, it is essentially forested and covered with meadows and 40 hectares of ponds. A true observatory of rurality and wildlife, it welcomes each year artists selected for their contribution to the renewal of the vision of the relationship between man and his natural environment. The Foundation’s commitment to supporting contemporary artistic creation is demonstrated by the fact that the residence at the Domaine de Belval contributes to the dissemination of the artists’ works to a wide audience. It also puts at the service of the creation a network of complementary skills carried by the scientific and educational teams of the Museum of Hunting and Nature and those of the Belval estate.

Download the charter of the residence at the Domaine de Belval



In the midst of preparations for ArtCOP21, cultural actors are coming together and new collaborations are being forged around the links between art and ecology.
It is in this spirit that Tara Expéditions and COAL have joined forces to launch a special “Oceans” prize within the COAL Art and Environment Prize 2015 dedicated to climate issues.
The winner of this exceptional prize will go for a month in residence on Tara between May 2016 and March 2017 as part of the Tara’s mission on coral – coral reefs in the face of global change which will take place in the Pacific Ocean.

Tara Expeditions is a French non-profit initiative that has been working since 2003 in favor of the environment and research thanks to a mythical boat: the Tara, built for extreme conditions. In 2016, the Tara will leave for a new expedition to understand the evolution of coral reefs in the context of demographic and climate change. While they cover only 0.1% of the ocean surface, coral reefs gather 30% of the biodiversity of the seas and provide direct sustenance, in terms of food, to nearly one billion people, mainly in the South Asian area (Coral Triangle), one of the destinations of the expedition.

This special “Oceans” prize will be awarded to an artistic project committed to saving the oceans in the light of current climate issues.


The 2015 COAL Award ceremony will take place on September 17, 2015 at the Museum of Game and Nature, where the installation A History of Weather, Food, and Revolution by 2014 COAL Award-winning artist Åsa Sonjasdotter is on view through September 26.



Header image: Soleil Noir,
Stéfane Perraud and Aram Kebabdjian

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  • About us
    About us

    COAL mobilizes artists and cultural actors on societal and environmental issues and accompanies the emergence of a new culture of ecology through its actions such as the COAL Prize, curating exhibitions, advising institutions and communities, European cooperation, and the animation of conferences, workshops and the first dedicated website


    COAL has been awarding the COAL Prize Art and Environment every year since 2010 and the COAL Student Prize - Culture & Diversity since 2020.

  • Projects

    Major projects linked to the major events in political ecology, in connection with natural or urban environments.

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    Artistic direction

    About fifty exhibitions throughout France, cultural actions, works in the public space, and project support to contribute to the emergence of a new culture of ecology.


    Cooperation programs on a European and international scale, support for institutions in their ecological transition through tailor-made accompaniment and training, promotion of arts and ecology issues through publications and numerous conferences and workshops.