2D Visual Arts
John Gerrard, Flare (Oceania), 2021. A simulation created for COP26, shown as a large-scale LED wall. "The work responds to a statement from Tongan artist + activist Uili Lousi, whose ancestral ocean is heating due to climate change." Irish new media artist Gerrard is known for Western Flag, a video work made in 2017, in which the site of the world’s first major oil find in Texas is marked by a "banner of constantly billowing black smoke." Here he was inspired to create a "flag from flames, set against a real-time seascape based on photographs taken by Lousi."
Sayo Watanabe, Don't Trash It, 2017. Climate change poster showing the planet dumped in an ubiquitous New York City trash can, "a reminder for humans to be more environmentally thoughtful in their daily lives." She is mainly a fashion designer who works to bring sustainability to her industry.
Celeste Byers, Justice First, 2018. Some of you may have gotten one of these free posters, as I did, at the Climate Justice Festival in August. It was commissioned for the Dogwood Alliance's "Justice First Tour" in 10 Southern states in 2018. I find this image so appealing as well as very effective in communicating our aspirations for humans and the planet. Byers is known for vivid tropical murals. I hope she will turn her talents to more eco-art themes in the future. Click the image for more details, and look her up at celestebyers.com.
Forest, 2019-20, multimedia, with drawings by Katie Holten and poem by Forrest Gander was published in Emergence Magazine. Her delightful and delicate "tree alphabets" and graphic black and white palette bridge the gap between nature and culture in a whimsical way. Click the image and watch the forest grow!
Alexis Rockman, The Farm, 2000, The Bounty,1991, and Newtown Creek, 2014, oil on wood. He has treated environmental themes for decades and had a major retrospective at the Smithsonian in 2010. These works powerfully portray his deep concerns about fragile ecosystems and the threat of human civilization. Click on the images for more information.
The Tempestry Project, (2017-) a collaborative fiber arts project that was started in Anacortes by Emily McNeil and Marissa and Justin Connelly. "Temperature + tapestry," these knitted or crocheted strips record temperature data for every day of a year in a certain location, and cumulatively display global warming. Collaborators by the hundreds have joined worldwide. For each kit sold, donations are given to climate causes.
Alisa Singer, Transportation Biggest Emitter, part of Environmental Graphiti series (2014-) Beautiful bold colors and abstract treaments transform graphs and charts related to climate change. The data sources are posted next to the paintings for comparison. She says "Art makes the science more accessible, just as science makes the art more meaningful."
Jon Ching, Cache, 2020 oil on wood. His surreal wildlife paintings reflect his fascination with symbiosis. This eagle feathered with seaweed, holding a monarch butterfly in its beak, seems to glare and protect its piles and piles of food on a lifeless shore.To me, it evokes a theme of over-consumption. He says "my approach is to explore the beauty of nature to spark reverence and appreciation in hopes that it leads to concern and protection." He donates work to multiple nature conservation causes.