Flags in the foreground show the XR logo whilst in the background is a large stained glass window of a cathedral.

Climate activists welcome Jerram installation to Bristol Cathedral

A new installation by renowned artist Luke Jerram was welcomed by a choir of activists as it begins its three week exhibition at Bristol Cathedral.

Members of Christian Climate Action, Extinction Rebellion and the Red Rebels were joined by Bristol Climate Choir on Thursday, June 15, to mark the arrival of Jerram’s Oil Fountain, a mechanised fountain which flows with artificial oil instead of water, the day before. 

Dave Mitchell, a member of Christian Climate Action and Extinction Rebellion Bristol, said: ‘Just having this piece in the Cathedral where the font should be is a hugely symbolically provoking act that is sure to spark a huge number of conversations about what we need to do to address the Climate and Ecological crises we all face.   

‘We have been working in partnership with all these groups to harness the immense power of individuals when they act together in solidarity and unity in the greatest common cause we can ever face, rebelling in the face of horrific consequences if we don’t accelerate beyond the fossil fuel era, into a just transition to a better world for all.’

The Red Rebels led a procession of the activists and choir through the cathedral and around Jerram’s fountain, which temporarily takes the place of the font inside the cathedral. 

The Revd Canon Jonnie Parkin, canon missioner at Bristol Cathedral, said: ‘We realise that many people may be nervous at the thought of Bristol Cathedral opening its doors to welcome Extinction Rebellion, but we have worked with many climate action groups in the past and are always struck by their urgency and commitment to countering the Climate Crisis.

‘They [Extinction Rebellion] can be viewed as “prophetic disruptors”, speaking truth to power and encouraging better, more community-minded thinking and behaviours, much as leading figures in many of the great Faiths have done before them.’

Jerram previously told Bristol 24/7 that the Oil Fountain is intended to question societies dependence on fossil fuels and to spark conversations about the climate crisis. 

The Stroud-born artists sadi: ‘Water fans were traditionally places where people would meet and talk and communicate.

‘I’m hoping that this artwork will act in the same way as a place for people to get together and talk about climate change.’

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