At the National Gallery in London this afternoon, two young supporters of Just Stop Oil glued their hands to the frame of Constable’s The Hay Wain, after first attaching a re-imagined dystopian version which covered the entire painting.
A group of school children were listening to their teacher talking about the adjacent painting, Joseph Wright’s ‘An Experiment on a Bird in an Air Pump’, when Eben Lazarus, a 22 year old music student, and Hannah Hunt, a 23 year old psychology student, calmly unrolled the new version of The Hay Wain and carefully applied it in three sections over Constable’s original.
The students watched the protest as both young people applied glue to their hands and attached themselves to the underside of the frame, then listened attentively as they spoke about why they were doing this.
At the end of the first speech, the young secondary school students cheered and applauded, as security staff moved in and began ushering people out of the gallery.
Today’s action follows three similar protests last week at art galleries in London, Glasgow and Manchester, as well as a track invasion at the Formula One race in Silverstone.
Just Stop Oil are calling for the government to heed the pleas of the Director of the International Energy Agency, the Secretary General of the United Nations, and thousands of climate scientists, to not engage in any NEW oil or gas exploration.
The UK government has just approved around 40 new licences, completely ignoring the advice of their own parliamentary committee, their former Chief Scientific Officer, and multiple NGOs.
Without new fossil fuel extraction, the UK would have around 8 years of reserves left, during which time we could rapidly transition to a zero carbon economy.
More info at juststopoil.org