While the temperature of the planet, plastic artists, illustrators and painters use art to protest against climate change. With their creative climate change art pieces, people from all over the world tackle the issue far beyond graphics, maps or predictions.
Climate change art
In this list, the Hourglass team selected pieces which artistic language can communicate with all people, evoking images and emotions that bring the matter the public sphere and remember us that we need to solve climate change still in this century — because this is our only chance.
The Ninth Wave, by Cai Guo Qiang
The “The Ninth Wave” is an installation incorporating 99 life-sized replicas of animals, wooden fishing boat, one white flag, electric fan.
It’s a monumental project, with 1700 x 455 x 580 cm and makes an allusion on the Ark of Noah.
With global warming, make a huge boat wont be enough to save our species. This project was exhibited at the Power Station of Art, in Shanghai in 2014.
Cai Guo-Qiang is a chinese artist, trained in stage design at the Shanghai Theatre Academy from 1981 until 1985. His work has since spanned multiple artistic mediums including drawing, painting, installation, video, and performance art.
Ice Watch, by Olafur Eliasson
Twelve large blocks of ice cast off from the Greenland ice sheet are harvested from a fjord outside Nuuk and presented in a clock formation in a prominent public place.
The work by Olafur Eliasson and Minik Rosing raises awareness of climate change by providing a direct and tangible experience of the reality of melting arctic ice. Ice Watch has been installed in three locations.
The first installation was in Copenhagen, at City Hall Square, from 26 to 29 October 2014, to mark the publication of the UN IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report on Climate Change.
The second installation took place in Paris, at Place du Panthéon, from 3 to 13 December 2015, on the occasion of the UN Climate Conference COP21, and the third version of Ice Watch was on view from 11 December 2018 to 2 January 2019 at two locations in London — outside Bloomberg’s European headquarters and in front of Tate Modern.
The works of artist Olafur Eliasson explore the relevance of art in the world at large. Born in 1967, Eliasson grew up in Iceland and Denmark, where he studied from 1989 to 1995 at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.
In 1995, he moved to Berlin and founded Studio Olafur Eliasson, which today comprises a large team of craftsmen, architects, archivists, researchers, administrators, cooks, programmers, art historians, and specialised technicians.
Tree of Extinction, by Alexis Rockman
This project’s name speaks for itself. The “Tree of Exctinction” has the contrast that shock everyone. The tree, always related to life, hope and abundance now is related to death, suffering and fear.
“These paintings aren’t necessarily overtly about climate change,” Alexis Rockman explained, “they’re about globalism, capitalism, colonialism — those are all part of the same buzz saw that led to climate change”, said him in interview to wbur website.
In Alexis Rockman portrays he uses oil painting to draw a world ruined by human corruption and damage to the environment. The future illlustrated in his art is dystopic, as the reality we find ourselves.
We don’t see humans in his projects, but we can see some vestiges that the humankind was once here, like piles of trash, ruins and cumbrling monuments.
Cloud City, by Tomás Saraceno
Cloud Cities is an aerial exploration of the entanglement between human beings and their environment in its entirety as a move toward a mental, social and environmental ecology.
As a metaphor of the cloud performing as cell flying cities and imaginary floating gardens, the artistic intention stands for the meaning of territory and national, racial and political boundaries in today’s urban society in an attempt to reject them and propose a utopian theory of boundlessness architecture.
An opposing dichotomy appears, then, to be a symbiotic relationship: the static isolation of architectural realities adapts itself to the organic movement of the natural biology.
One is not enough, Tomás Saraceno incentive to break down the barriers between the two disciplines to give a physical reality to the concept of urban ecology.
Tomás Saraceno is an Argentina-born, Berlin-based artist whose projects dialogue with forms of life and life-forming, rethinking dominant threads of knowledge in the Capitalocene era and recognizing how diverse modes of being engage a multiplicity of vibrations on the Web of Life.
Climate Change is Real, by Nor Tijan Firdaus
Caring deeply for Mother Earth, it was certainly apt for the young artist to utilise e-wastefor her art as she effectively connects with her audience in the contemporary society of today where one is so reliant on our technological gadgets.
Exhibiting an alternative use of e-waste, Nor Tijan utilises a wide range of discarded electronic components ranging from resistors to transistors to capacitors and inductors amongst others to creatively fashion her latest works.
Concerned for her audience and collectors, it has to be noted
that Nor Tijan attends to the cleaning of such discarded e-waste prior to usage.
Almost never free from bruises and minor cuts, the young artist meticulously selects and cleans these electronic components to be free from toxin and to ensure the preservation of the artwork may be maintained.
Nor Tijan Firdaus is the visual artist and sculptor behind the captivating re-creation and reintepretation of famous paintings by some of the artistic greats, composed with e-waste.
From Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night, Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss and Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait with Bonito to works of local masters like Dato’ Hoessein Enas’ Gadis Melayu and Ahmad Fuad Osman’s Syhhh, her unique creations, which broach the subjects of climate change and consumerism, are a hit on the local arts scene.
Manifest Destiny, by Alexis Rockman
Rockman’s Manifest Destiny lends renewed urgency and illustrative clarity to understanding the effects and reasoning of human inventions and interactions with nature– past, present, and future. Most explicitly, Alexis Rockman (b. 1962) shows effects of global climate change as predicted by many scientists.
Climate Crisis, by zhc
Bangladeshi people walking on dried-up land. Bangladesh will lose a significant part of its territory to the sea-level rise, causing mass displacement of people.
One of the biggest drivers by far is our burning of fossil fuels — coal, gas, and oil — which has increased the concentration of greenhouse gases — such as carbon dioxide — in our atmosphere. This, coupled with other activities like clearing land for agriculture, is causing the average temperature of our planet to increase — the greatest corruption on earth.
A visual journalist based in Bangladesh, working with social issues in Bangladesh like Climate Change, Refugees, Child Labour, Human Rights, Transgender, Public Health etc.
Work published in TIME, The Guardian, Telegraph, Wall Street Journal, Paris Match, Mirror etc.
Juliette Dumas creates conceptual artworks that address our strained relationship with nature.
Dumas uses the physical properties of her materials and the dynamics of their interaction, to create poignant metaphors for humanity’s struggle to control the effects of environmental degradation.
In creating the work “Untitled,” for example, Dumas burns materials and then attempts to sew the brittle, charred remnants back together.
In this project, she burned the material and tried to stick it together again but, of course, it was impossibel, so she made the best collage possible. This is a reminder: if we let our planet burn, there’s no way to actually fix it.
Floating aBoulder, by Mary Mattingly
Through photography, sculpture, installation Mary Mattingly imaginesa dire post-apocalyptic future and creates her performance on it.
In Mattingly’s universe, humans are forced to live nomadically, scavenging the wreckage of civilization and living by their wits.
She imagines (and sometimes develops) unique transportation solutions for her subjects, such as the Personal Flight Machine (2007) and Kart (2008), a shelter built on a bike In 2008, she also created the Waterpod™, an alternative living model that consisted of a movable, floating barge that could adapt to changing sea levels.
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Polar, by Sebastian Copeland
Copeland visited the Antarctic five times in all and has won numerous awards for his work. He has studied glaciology and geology, but while this gives him key insights into the science needed to understand precisely what’s happening in the Antarctic, he believes that photography is the most powerful tool he has to convince people of the need for change.
Beauty Shop, by Lori Nix
Description by Artsy: In her darkly fanciful photographs, Lori Nix refracts our world in urban and rural scenes largely absent of humans, and threatened by manmade disasters or the forces of nature.
As she explains: “I create photographs that depict our failing future and the demise of humanity, though I temper it with subtle humor.”
Working in series, and with an 8-by-10 camera and film, Nix begins by crafting painstakingly detailed dioramas. She shoots only what she builds, based on her surroundings and inspired by the Hudson River School, current events, science fiction, and 1970s “disaster flicks.”
In “Accidentally Kansas” (1998–2000), her first series, she recreated the rural Midwest in microcosm, showing its communities ravaged by ice storms and tornadoes, menaced by modern technology.
In her most recent project, The City (2005–11), Nix presents visions of a decaying New York overtaken by nature.
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