Our Favourite Sustainable Artists
In honor of World Art Day, we bring you the works of five incredible artists who take an creative appraoch to addressing the world’s environmental concerns.
Chris Jordan - Portraits of Global Mass Culture: Blue
Seatlle-based Chris Jordan’s series, ‘Running the Numbers’, forces us to consider the impact of our unconscious behaviours. At first glance, the image appears to depict a fairly simple scene, but once zoomed in reveals an immaculately constructed formation of over 78,000 plastic water bottles – equal to around 1/10,000th of the estimated number of people without access to clean drinking water. A variety of social and environmental issues are addressed across the two series, with each artwork emphasising the sheer numbers involved in global consumption.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude - Surrounded Islands
Married couple, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, are the brains behind some of the most monumental artistic installations. The iconic ‘Surrounded Islands’ was constructed around eleven islands in Biscayne Bay, Miami, in 1983, and featured a colossal 6.5 million square feet of pink, woven polypropylene fabric. The installation, which was 3 years in the making, required 430 workers to construct and was a reflection of how the people Miami interacted between land and water. During the construction phase, the workforce cleared debris that littered each of the eleven islands, with a kitchen sink, rubber tyres and a refrigerator door being among the items retrieved.
Jason deCaires Taylor - Museo Atlántico
Britain’s very own Jason deCaires Taylor is a sculptor, environmentalist and professional underwater photographer, and is the brains behind the world’s first underwater museum. DeCaires has devoted his work to the preservation and education of the ocean. He moulds his sculptures from a PH neutral cement that creates a stable and permanent platform for marine life, and uses the money generated from visitors for coastal clean-ups. The incredible sculptures, submerged 14 metres below the oceans surface in Lanzarote, provide a powerful message about the often overlooked fragility of the ocean. DeCaires has created a series of sculptures, including ‘The Rising Tide’ in the River Thames, that voiced a stark message about climate change.
Olafur Eliasson - Your Waste of Time
Icelandic/Danish Olafur Eliasson, a graduate from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, now lives in Berlin where he founded Studio Olafur Eliasson. Together with his team of over 900, Eliasson creates epic displays that highlight the devasting effects of climate change. ”Your Waste of Time’ shows 6 tonnes of glacier ice from Vatnajökull, Iceland, which were transported to a gallery in Berlin, and exhibited in a custom refrigerated space. The exhibition of the 2,500 year old ice blocks highlighted the rapid rate at which the ice caps are melting. Eliasson explains in depth how he aimed to verbalise the concept of time through the piece.
Blu - Urbanization is Killing Us
Blu, an anonymous Italian street artist, uses urban buildings as the canvas for his monumental and thought-provoking murals. Addressing a number of social and environmental concerns in his signature style, the artworks are often sarcastic in nature and each convey a strong message. ‘Urbanization is Killing Us’ is a message about the negative impact that urban concentration has on the environment, such as contributing to pollution and a disruption of the natural eco-systems.