Their website reads that they demand “that the UK government makes a statement that it will immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK.”
They explain their reasons: “It’s the very first step to ensuring our survival. We already have more oil and gas than we can afford to burn.
“Let’s get on with ending our reliance on fossil fuels completely: by powering ahead with renewables and cutting energy demand; by insulating Britain and rethinking how we travel; and by ensuring that no-one is left behind and everyone’s voice is heard.”
Phoebe Plummer and Anna Holland from Just Stop Oil also recently spoke to Frieze about their aims.
“Unless we fight for [the future], unless we start acting like we’re in the emergency that we are, there’s no future to look forward to. It’s a horrible thing to say to people and it’s a bleak thing to think about, but that is the truth, as it stands.
“As Phoebe said, in the global south, people are struggling – they are fighting for their lives every single day – and that is the future we all must look ahead to, if we don’t win this flight.”
It all began when Just Stop Oil activists glued themselves to Horatio McCulloch’s My Heart’s in the Highlands (1860) on June 29 at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow.
Below is a list of all the other protests involving artworks:
What are all the artworks that Just Stop Oil have attacked in the UK?
Horatio McCulloch’s My Heart’s in the Highlands
On Monday, June 29, 2022, Just Stop Oil activists attached themselves to Horatio McCulloch’s My Heart’s in the Highlands (1860) at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow.
On their reasoning for choosing this particular painting, one of the protestors said: “This landscape was painted in 1860 at the height of the highland clearances, when whole crofting [small-scale farming] communities were evicted by a new class of landlords ruthlessly pursuing their own private interests. It was only when crofters organised and resisted that they won rights.”
Vincent van Gogh’s Peach Trees in Blossom
This took place on Tuesday, June 30, 2022, when Just Stop Oil attached themselves to Vincent van Gogh’s Peach Trees in Blossom (1889) at the Courtauld Institute in London.
J M W Turner’s Tomson’s Aeolian Harp
On July 1, 2022, Just Stop Oil activists glued themselves to J M W Turner’s Tomson’s Aeolian Harp (1809) at the Manchester Art Gallery in Manchester.
The group said in a statement: “According to flood-risk mapping carried out by Climate Central, the areas of London that are depicted in Turner’s painting could be regularly underwater as early as 2030.”
John Constable’s The Hay Wain
Just Stop Oil glued themselves to The Hay Wain (1821), an iconic landscape by John Constable at the National Gallery in London. This took place on Monday, July 4, 2022
Giampietrino’s The Last Supper
Just Stop Oil activists once again glued themselves to a famous painting, this time Giampietrino’s The Last Supper (1520) at the Royal Academy in London,on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. One of the activists from Just Stop Oil said in a statement, “When I was teaching, I brought my students to great institutions like the Royal Academy. But now it feels unfair to expect them to respect our culture when their government is hellbent on destroying their future by licensing new oil and gas projects.”
Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh
On Friday, October 14, activists from Just Stop Oil went further than before, throwing tomato soup on Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers at the National Gallery in London. The protest took place during Frieze London, and also involved two activists glueing themselves to the floor beneath the painting.
Several arrests were made in relation to the protest, but the painting was unharmed.
On the protest, Just Stop Oil activist Anna Holland told Frieze, “We had originally planned to throw soup at Andy Warhol, purely for how meta it would have been but, as Phoebe said, it’s such a beautiful, iconic piece of work. And Van Gogh himself was a penniless artist.
“He lived and died in debt. If he’d been alive today under this government, he would have been one of those people who, this winter, would be forced to choose between eating or heating his home.”