What’s a piece of art worth?

Cool Earth patron Vivienne Westwood posed some very interesting questions when she spoke at Frieze art fair this week in London.

She suggested that someone could buy a piece of art – in this case a children’s collage in her polling station at the Clapham Manor Primary School – and the money could go to Cool Earth to protect the world’s remaining rainforests. If the value of the artwork was pinned to cost of protecting rainforests from being destroyed, what would it be worth?

“There was this collage. It is about love, innocence and trust. The kids are really interested in animals and the environment, the writing is so creative, the language seems to be like new-born. I wondered if somebody can take the painting down and somebody would buy it and give the money to the rainforest.”

The school loved the idea, and agreed to donate the collage to raise funds for Cool Earth.

Vivienne spoke about the value of art, gesturing to pieces displayed at the Frieze art fair: how much is it worth? Is it relevant? Who would buy this?

She concluded: “There is a price on this kid’s collage! We’ve got a project with Cool Earth and they need £1.2 million to save a place in Papua New Guinea that will be turned into a palm plantation if we don’t act.”

Vivienne Westwood and her Climate Revolution team are now busy organising an event where they will try to sell the collage for what it’s worth: the price of the world’s rainforest.

There is a space left on the bottom right corner of the collage and whoever buys it can write on “I saved the rainforest”: now that really is art that’s relevant and worth something.



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