The munich creative business week (mcbw) is Germany’s largest design event and also international platform for the Bavarian creative and design industries. The mcbw is organized by bayern design, the competence center for knowledge transfer and collaborations around design in Bavaria. It connects topics, disciplines, industries and perspectives. The annual theme of the this year’s mcbw is “Why disruption unleashes creativity” and will take place from May 06-14, 2023. Find out about their events at

Stoked to have been interviewed by the awesome Oliver Herwig for their magazine. You can find the physical version in the events in Munich. Dankeschön!

Citation: Young, Catherine. Interview. By Oliver Herwig. munich creative business week magazine. 2023, 54-57.

The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store (2014) is featured on One Earth, Cell Press’ flagship sustainability journal. 

Rising temperatures, sea level rise, superstorms, biodiversity loss, and many other climate impacts endanger the wellbeing of the Earth, which will result in unprecedented damages and losses including many scents and the memories we have of them—the smells of oceans, forests, food, just to name a few. The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store (T.E.M.P.S., or “time” in French) is an artist-created perfume line of scents that are threatened due to the climate crisis. These perfumes are created by the artist, Catherine Sarah Young, using chemical distillation and standard perfumery techniques. During exhibitions, visitors are allowed to smell the perfumes. As smell and memory are closely related, viewers are invited to reflect on how potentially losing these scents could affect their lives and hopefully be inspired to preserve them and take action on the climate crisis.

One Earth provides a home for high-quality research and perspectives that significantly advance our ability to better understand and address today’s sustainability challenges. 

Hurray for artwork having a DOI. Cite away:

Download the pdf here.

I’m on the list of 8 artists who are grappling with climate change and imagining a better world by Yale Climate Connections, featuring The Sewer Soaperie, The Weighing of the Heart, and The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store. Thanks so much!

Read the article here. Download as a pdf here.

Here are some photos from the !Do Something group exhibition with The Weighing of the Heart, courtesy of the UNSW Library.  Thanks so much!

The Weighing of the Heart casts the ashes of the catastrophic Australian bushfires of 2019-2020 into human heart sculptures.

Exhibition text:

Climate Change is the dominant wicked problem of our time: there is no single solution; the boundaries are difficult to define; and it is influenced by complex, interdependent and rapidly changing factors. 

Canadian designer Bruce Mau’s influential book MC24: 24 Principles for Designing Massive Change in Your Life and Work declares that “new wicked problems demand new wicked teams”. In response, the Wicked Collective was established in 2021 by a committed group of academics from the UNSW Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture (ADA), including Dr Teresa Crea, Dr Rebecca Green, Prof Stephen Loo, Emma Mills and Emma Peters. Wicked Collective believe that artists, designers, academics, and students need to work together across disciplinary boundaries to effectively respond to the wicked problems confronting us.
!Do Something is the first project of Wicked Collective. This exhibition presents creative responses and interventions to the wicked problem of Climate Change by showcasing work that relate to one or more of the seventeen United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

!Do Something was shown at UNSW Main Library as part of the ADA Now Festival 2022 from 12 September to 18 November 2022. 

From November 11-14, I was at Orpheus Island (Goolboddi) Research Station to participate in Reef Ecologic’s Reef Restoration and Leadership Workshop. During the four days, we snorkelled the Great Barrier Reef, learned how to make coral nurseries, and engaged with each other’s expertise. I was with marine biologists, rangers, and agritech experts from Queensland and the Torres Strait.

The Great Barrier Reef and the rest of our oceans are a great source of artistic inspiration and needs all of us to care because of increasing climate impacts. I can’t wait for the projects that will come out of me after this.

Thank you to Reef Ecologic’s Adam Smith, Jo Stacey, Nathan Cook and your amazing staff and interns, as well as my fellow participants whose love for the oceans is very inspiring. This was one of the tightest ships I’ve been on and I’ve learned so much in the past few days!

Just came back from a week in the south coast of New South Wales in Australia with the class I am auditing in UNSW, Indigenous Knowledge Partnerships on Conservation and Caring for Country. I tagged along with a group of Master of Environmental Management students, which was very inspiring.

On Day 1, Uncle Noel taught us about fire regimes and cultural burning in Triplarina Nature Reserve and Sussex Inlet. The next day, Auntie Lynne Thomas took us to the amazing Gulaga National Park on an epic rainy bushwalk. On Day 3, Uncle Graham took us around beautiful Tathra Headland National Park followed by places in Bournda National Park. Finally, Uncle Bruce Pascoe, author of Dark Emu, spoke to us about Aboriginal agriculture and his farm.

It was wonderful to have been on this trip and a relief I returned just in time to Sydney for this. Thank you, Professor Dan Robinson and your epic class!


I’m participating in The Curatorial Thing of SixtyEight Art Institute in Copenhagen. Register for the free public program here: (I’m speaking on Day 4)

Text and image by SixtyEight Art Institute:

Announcing our Public Programme for ‘Audacious Landscapes’ 
Organised by SixtyEight Art Institute
1 – 8 October, 2022
SixtyEight Art Institute is pleased to announce the schedule for public lecture events of our upcoming curatorial intensive programme, The Curatorial Thing, organised under the Audacious Landscapes theme and framework. This week-long gathering will explore SixtyEight Art Institute’s research on climate art histories to critical discussions of future imaginaries in a warming world and incorporate critical approaches on climate grief and regenerative thinking through art, architecture, and design.The 1-8 October 2022 meeting period will be shaped by workshops between participants and invited speakers, site and studio visits, and lecture-based events open to the general public. These public lectures will take place at The Faculty Library of Social Sciences building of the University of Copenhagen. All lectures will be available (physically) to the public for free and seats are open on a first-come, first-served basis. The Curatorial Thing will also be streamed (virtually) for a nominal fee for anyone interested in following our programme.
SixtyEight Art Institute is hosting all the public lecture events online for the upcoming edition of The Curatorial Thing. You can choose individual days or the entire week-long sequence. See the links below to register and access our event streaming options.
One-day registration
Week-long registration
Saturday, 1. October 
13.30 – 15.30 Public Lecture Programme 
Critical Visions in a Warming World 
The Faculty Library of Social Sciences building of the University of Copenhagen Gothersgade 140.Anne Haaning, visual artist and Research Fellow, The Norwegian Artistic Research Programme, NO/UK/DK.KEYNOTE: T.J. Demos, art historian and cultural critic, Professor in the Department of the History of Art and Visual Culture, at University of California, Santa Cruz, US.
17.30 to 19.30 Installation Opening 
Anne Louise BlicherGrief Shrine 
Part of the Climate Thanatology project 
Sharp Projects Gallery, 
Blegdamsvej 38.

Monday, 3. October 
17.00 – 21.00 Interactive Shadow Theatre 
Part of the Climate Thanatology project 
LiteraturHaus, Møllegade 7 
(Three 40-minute performances, advance registration is required).The Bird Ladies 
HenBlakstad Productions in co-production with Animalske Productions(NO), silo portem, sound art duo (UK), Catharine DeLong, harpist (US).Three performances of 40 min., limited to 20 people for each performance.Starting at 17.00; 18.30; and 20.00. All performances are free of charge.Please follow this LINK to register for The Bird Ladies.

– –Tuesday, 4. October 
18.00 – 21.00 Public Lecture Programme 
Climate and Cultural Art Histories 
The Faculty Library of Social Sciences building of the University of Copenhagen Gothersgade 140.Mathilde Helnæs, curator, Sorø Kunstmuseum (DK).Luamba Muinga, curator, cultural researcher, writer (AO).KEYNOTE: Andri Snær Magnason, writer and documentary filmmaker, author of On Time and Water (IS).

– –Wednesday, 5. October 
18.00 – 21.00 Public Lecture Programme 
Image and Media in Climate Communication 
The Faculty Library of Social Sciences building of the University of Copenhagen Gothersgade 140.Catherine Sarah Young, artist, Manila/Sydney (AU/PH).Jørgen Bruhn, intermediality and ecocriticism specialist, Professor of Comparative Literature, Linnaeus University (SE).KEYNOTE: Diedrich Diederichsen, writer and cultural critic, Professor of Theory, Practice, and Communication of Contemporary Art, Institute for Art History and Cultural Studies, Vienna (AT).– –Thursday, 6. October 
18.00 – 20.00 BOOK LAUNCH 
Climate Thanatology by Heidi Hart 
Published by Really Simple Syndication Press 
SORTE FIRKANT (Blågårdsgade 29, 2200 Copenhagen) 

– –Friday, 7. October 
18.00 – 21.00 Public Lecture Programme 
Engaging with Place: Ruin, Memory, Regeneration 
The Faculty Library of Social Sciences building of the University of Copenhagen Gothersgade 140.Maddie Leach, artist/Senior Lecturer in Fine Arts, University of Gothenburg (SE/NZ).Ash Sanders, climate writer and activist (US).KEYNOTE: Darren Parry, former chairman of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation, author and founder, Boa Ogoi Cultural Interpretive Center (US).

– –Saturday, 8. October 
12.30 – 15.30 Public Lecture Programme 
Regenerative Architectures in Climate Art History Perspective 
The Faculty Library of Social Sciences building of the University of Copenhagen Gothersgade 140.Ariana Kalliga, independent curator, New York and Athens (GR/UK).Angela YT Chan, researcher, curator, and artist (UK).KEYNOTE: Beatriz Colomina, architecture historian and theorist, Howard Crosby Butler Professor of the History of Architecture, Princeton University (US).

For a full list of BIOS follow this LINK
ABOUT OUR FIFTH EDITION OF THE CURATORIAL THINGThe Curatorial Thing is our annual intensive programme for curators, artists, researchers, and the public, from 1 – 8 October 2022. Using the Nordic notion of a ‘thing’ – an old concept for a meeting place, an assembly of the community, or as the precursor of the modern term ‘parliament’ – we have invited 18 individuals or groups of artists, designers, and curators for a series of day-long closed workshops. In addition, we are organising a lecture programme for the general public that will feature leading figures operating in and outside the Nordic Region. This year’s edition of The Curatorial Thing will build on SixtyEight’s ongoing exhibition programme, Memoirs of Saturn, which envisions potentials for prosperity in a warming world.We have chosen the title AUDACIOUS LANDSCAPES, from a 1938 poem by Muriel Rukeyser on witnessing an industrial landscape with “clouds over every town” that “indicate the stored destruction,” foreshadowing our own time. As this carbon buildup has led to global climate crises, curatorial practices have become a form of witness. In developing The Curatorial Thing, we read “audacious” as a paradox of capitalist hubris and the risk of imagining better possible afterlives. Using this paradox as a starting point, we consider “landscape” beyond framed artworks in museums, as art objects take on new roles in the public sphere.Our twofold goal is to move participants’ thinking from art histories of grief to imaginative proto-histories of thriving, especially in profoundly changed ecosystems, and to move critical inquiry from a modernising to an ecologising mindset. We aim to find a triad of contextual histories, climate narratives, and innovative spatial-natural theories that can enable us to foster a new climate art history. Therefore, the workshops and keynote lectures of this meeting will not only focus on the aftermath of climate-related art histories to aid us in thinking forward but will also explore climate grief as a moving bio-physical space to seed new and active imaginations. To this end, we want to investigate how art can inspire larger-scale solutions for a warming world and, at the same time, find the historical lineages that can give us both the hermeneutic and contemporary tools to sustain critical spaces, such as those that can nurture and support these new imaginations.The Fifth Edition of The Curatorial Thing is organised/curated by Heidi Hartand Hugo Hopping for SixtyEight Art Institute and is made possible with the generous support of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. Hosting partners in Copenhagen are LiteraturHausThe Faculty Library of Social Sciences at University of CopenhagenStatens Værksteder for Kunst, and Assistens Kirkegård.
SixtyEight Art Institute is an artistic/curatorial research organisation looking to uncover, develop, and further exchanges between artists and curators and their creative labour. See our current exhibition The Late Shop on view from 9 September to 14 October 2022. This exhibition is part of our two-year programme of exhibitions, Memoirs of Saturn, which is kindly supported by the Danish Arts FoundationDet Obelske FamiliefondBeckett-Fonden and Københavns Kommune Rådet for Visuel Kunst.

Earth/Mars, was exhibited at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt for #Commonings, the final edition of The New Alphabet. In this art installation, cyanotypes of the deserts of Central Australia are juxtaposed with those of open-source Mars images by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. These images, normally a deep Prussian blue, are toned with various experimental botanical inks. Side by side, these dry landscapes, both contested lands, may function as a good starting point to think through existing settler-colonial violence and regimes on Earth such as with Palestine, the Philippines and many others. The challenges of getting to space in human history went from an international space race to a more individualized one by billionaires, increasing discourse on inequality and catastrophe on Earth. Thinking of Planet B may help to clarify the intentions and goals with Planet A. Can the collective challenges faced on Mars lead people to find or seek out common ground that has been missing on Earth?

Many thanks to the curators, Olga Schubert, Gigi Argyropoulou, Alessandra Pomarico, Mahmoud Al-Shaer and Rahul Gudipudi as well as the HKW staff Savannah Turner, Elisabeth Krämer, Amaya Gallegos, Franziska Morlok, Christine Andersen, and Lucas Gentzsch.

Thank you as well for technical assistance back in Sydney, the UNSW Making Centre and UNSW Design Futures Lab!

More about the program here:

SIlkeborg, Denmark—It was fun to speak at KunstCentret Silkeborg Bad for their artist seminar in conjunction with their exhibition Ether, which features works with Scandinavian artists. I spoke about my petrichor-related works in the past two years. Thanks for having me!

Great to speak at Art & Market’s Landing 2022 conference about art and climate change, featuring past and recent work. Thank you for having me!

Here is the synthesis of the conversation by Art & Market’s Ian Tee:

Key points: 

  • Artists innovate by creating new imagery that spark curiosity. 
  • Collaboration is enriching, especially for research-driven projects.
  • While global warming is a universal phenomenon, the impact of climate change varies from one locality to the next.
  • Rather than having the right answers, it is more important to be open to change as information changes over time.

For the second event of LANDING 2022, Vivyan Yeo, Content Producer at Art & Market, spoke to artist Catherine Sarah Young. Their conversation touched on various approaches towards engaging with the issue of climate change and sustainability in the arts.

Here are the takeaways from the discussion: 

Artists innovate by creating new imagery that spark curiosity. This causes people to do a “double take” and pay attention to pertinent issues. In fact, audiences who tuned in commented on the arresting quality of her artist portraits taken as part of individual projects. One example is her ‘The Sewer Soaperie’ (2016) which highlights the problem of flooding caused by coagulated grease in sewer systems. For this work, the artist made luxury soaps out of oils collected from different parts of the sewer system. She says, “What artists do with these emotional hooks is to get people to notice and change their behaviours”. Art is a powerful asset as it speaks to people as human beings and helps us relate to each other. 

Collaboration is enriching, especially for research-driven projects. Catherine believes that art and science are two sides of the same coin, and her multidisciplinary outlook is partly shaped by her undergraduate education in molecular biology and biotechnology. She appreciates the specificity her scientist collaborators work with. While projects can benefit from partnerships with experts from all walks of life, Catherine advises artists to be mindful of not taking others’ time for granted. It also helps to have a professional portfolio available online, be upfront with one’s request, and have a large pool of prospective collaborators to choose from.

While global warming is a universal phenomenon, the impact of climate change varies from one locality to the next. Therefore, it is crucial to adapt one’s artistic response to the local issues experienced by audiences. Catherine cites her project ‘Climate Change Couture’ (2013) which speculates on what one would wear in a future under climate change. It has been presented in Singapore, Manila, Colombia and San Francisco. In every iteration, the collection reflects the city’s unique environmental scenario and climate projections. It also reimagines the vernacular fashion as a way of acknowledging the cultural specificities of each locale. 

Rather than having the right answers, it is more important to be open to change as information changes over time. In a world of misinformation and tribalism, Catherine hopes that her projects are situations where discourse can happen in a respectful way. In her workshops with children and adults, she observed the urgent need for intergenerational exchange on topics such as climate change anxiety. As we strive to make better choices each day, the major shift is to move away from a throw-away culture towards a sustaining culture.

Watch the video on YouTube or listen to the recording on SoundCloud here.