Friday, November 27, 2015 - 13:00

A striking set of giant horse sculptures have been lowered into the Eden Project in time for this Sunday’s (November 29) Festival of Hope.

The Rising Tide is a stunning work of art which sends a powerful message about climate change. It was created by world-renowned sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor and forms the centre-piece of Eden’s one-day event held on the eve of the climate negotiations in Paris (COP21).

The four horses with riders – each weighing eight tonnes – were installed by crane yesterday morning (Thursday November 26) to a spot by the Eden Project’s Core building, where the Festival of Hope will take place. The sculptures will remain at Eden until the end of February.

The Festival of Hope will feature leading companies and groups who are paving the way to a low-carbon sustainable future. Appearing on the day will be the likes of electric car manufacturer Tesla, ethical clothing company Finisterre, sustainable manufacturer Interface, coffee recycler bio-bean Ltd, and others.

Coupled with music by DJ collective Upstairs Downstairs and a selection of Eden’s favourite workshops, the festival promises to be a day of hope, and a reminder of how everyone can be part of the solution, whatever happens at the climate negotiations.

The Rising Tide references working animals while drawing attention to an ongoing dependency on fossil fuels and the potentially apocalyptic outcome of climate change.

Each of the horses has a different rider, either a male suited figure or a young teenager. The suited figures illustrate an attitude of denial or ambivalence towards our current climate crisis whereas the young riders represent hope in effecting future change. The sculptures provide a stark reminder of both urgency and hope.

The Rising Tide was first commissioned by the Totally Thames festival, which celebrated the River Thames during the month of September and was funded by Lumina Prime8 and Art-Biosphere.

Eden Co-founder Sir Tim Smit said: “The Rising Tide by Jason deCaires Taylor is a fabulous work of art and we are very proud to host it here at Eden. In a world where every slight achievement is shouted into hyperbole, how refreshing it is to have a work of such beauty, power and substance come to grace our Festival.

“It feels like, dare I say, a genuine homecoming to a place where thoughts about a future foretold are fired with angry muscular hope, not limp acquiescence in the face of a challenge that feels too big.

“It is now that we have to prove that the name we gave ourselves - homo sapiens - is not a joke. It is a challenge we feel we can rise to and we thank Jason for trusting that we might rise on that tide of his imagination."

The Festival of Hope takes place in Eden’s Core building where speakers, stalls and music will be on between 11am and 5pm.

Entrance to the event is included within the price of admission to Eden. Those who live in Devon and Cornwall can visit with a Locals' Pass. Good Energy customers, plus one guest, can enter Eden free of charge on the day by bringing a recent energy bill (or a welcome letter or confirmation email) to the ticketing desk.

Twitter users who are attending can join the conversation by using the hashtags #ephopefest and #COP21. The Festival of Hope can also be found on Facebook.