The range of projects that Mel Evans has helped develop for Greenpeace over the last couple of years show how creativity can be key to distributing messages effectively and affecting real change. As part of last year’s Requiem For Arctic Ice campaign, for example, every day that Shell attempted to drill for oil in the Alaskan Arctic, different groups of musicians would perform a specially-written score outside the company’s London HQ.
BELOW: A film made as a part of Greenpeace UK’s Requiem For Arctic Ice campaign
Similarly, the short film Lego: Everything Is Not Awesome, which became Greenpeace’s most-watched online video to date with over 6m views, had a strong idea at its heart that tapped into people’s fondness for the toy while alerting them to the brand’s ties to Shell (the Danish company eventually ended its marketing contract with the oil giant). Evans also co-ordinated the group of 50 children who blockaded the road outside Shell’s offices by building giant Lego Arctic animals during the charity’s first ever ‘non-violent direct action’ with young volunteers.
BELOW: Greenpeace’s film which flagged up Lego’s ties to Shell
In addition to her work with Greenpeace, Evans is also an artist, author and activist and has worked with Art Not Oil and Liberate Tate, where she co-created a series of live art performances to challenge BP’s sponsorship of the art gallery.
These interventions included The Gift, which saw the construction of a 16.5m wind turbine blade in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall; Human Cost, where a naked man was covered in oil inside Tate Britain’s Duveen Galleries; and Time Piece, a performance where 75 people used pieces of charcoal to transcribe words relating to art and climate change on the sloped floor of the Turbine Hall during a 25-hour performance (above). In 2015, Evans’ book Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts was also published by Pluto Press. In March this year, BP announced that it would be ending its 26-year sponsorship of the Tate from 2017 citing an “extremely challenging business environment”.