Hard-hitting open air street gallery to arrive in Bristol

April 05, 2012

Tarnished Earth, a dramatic open air gallery of photographs by Jiri Rezac, telling the story of one of the world’s biggest ecological disasters, is set to arrive in Bristol later this month (17 April). 

Staged by The Co-operative in conjunction with WWF-UK and Greenpeace, Tarnished Earth is a free outdoor exhibition which is described as “an exhibition of devastating power.”

The three metre high installations of astounding images will be displayed in Broadmead, Bristol, until 8 May (2012), showing how Canada’s magnificent Boreal Forest is being destroyed and polluted by the rush to extract oil from the tar sands just below the surface.

Tarnished Earth image

This is the final chance to see the full exhibition as it comes to the end of its tour which has seen it visit some of the UK’s major cities – including London, Manchester, Birmingham, Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh – and, astound in excess of five million people.

The photographs are illuminated at night and contrast the destruction caused by the oil extraction with the area’s pristine wilderness and the traditional way of life of the indigenous First Nation Cree. The exhibition forms part of The Co-operative’s on-going Toxic Fuels campaign.

Paul Monaghan, Head of Social Goals at The Co-operative, said: “It is really important that people see for themselves the scale of the environmental destruction which is being done in order to extract oil from tar sands.

“The greenhouse gas emissions from tar sands oil are far greater than those of conventional oil, and its exploitation alone would be sufficient to take the world to the brink of runaway climate change.

“Tarnished Earth vividly portrays the impact tar sands operations are having on this beautiful area of boreal forest which has been home to wildlife and the indigenous Cree nations for thousands of years.”

Jo Hawkins, City Centre Retail Manager for Destination Bristol, said: “With hundreds of Bristolians and visitors shopping in the city centre each week, we are delighted to host the Tarnished Earth exhibition in Broadmead. The photographs are incredible and will no doubt attract much attention from shoppers in the area, while highlighting this important environmental issue.”

Further information about the Tarnished Earth exhibition is available at www.tarnishedearth.co.uk

Additional Information:

The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned not by private shareholders but by over seven million consumers.  It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer and a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank and The Co-operative Insurance. Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider, the third largest pharmacy chain and one of Britain’s largest farming operations. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group has also set out its social and sustainability goals in its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, which specifies over 50 commitments in these areas.

The Group operates 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs more than 100,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn.  Further information is available at www.co-operative.coop


Contact Details:

Andrew Torr
The Co-operative Group Press Office
T: 0161 827 5622
M: 07702 505551
E: andrew.torr@co-operative.coop