Thursday 28 March 2019

The Art of Protest

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” – Degas

A flock of origami birds, created by concerned citizens from across Europe, successfully stopped Spain’s plans to dredge a river in Doñana National Park.

Photo Credit: #OrigamiMigration campaign 2016
A fish sculpture named Goby is keeping a local beach clean as people fill it over and over again with garbage. Around the world, people are creating works of art, “transforming hearts and minds as well as changing policies, cultures or behaviours.”

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Gerald Beaulieu’s crow sculptures weigh 386 kilograms and are 5 metres long. Made out of used tires, they are “public memorials to the dead . . . . Larger than life and made of the material that often kills them, they are impossible to ignore.” Crows are scavengers attracted to roadkill. And yet, in the process of cleaning up our roads, they themselves are often killed.

Bringing attention to the wildlife that is killed every day on our roads isn’t an easy task. “Beaulieu expresses this complicated subject in the most impactful and palatable way. By using pieces of vehicles to create the works - the tires themselves - he deftly turns road-killed crows into impossible-to-ignore visible reminders. They die on the road because of us.”

Photo credit: Imgur Photos
Nicole Marie Burton “believes that comics, because they are relatively inexpensive to produce, are a great medium to amplify marginalized voices.” She recently illustrated her first graphic novel about two young people who find work in the Canadian oil industry.

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Carla Scotto shares her “eco-sassy art” on Instagram. There are lots of images reminding people to reduce their plastics as well as one reminding people not to feed the ducks: “Did you know it’s ducked to feed ducks bread? Not only does it cause malnutrition but mouldy leftovers hurt local water quality opt for seeds, frozen peas, oats, corn, greens - or nothing at all so they learn to forage for themselves.”

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In his Unhappily Ever After project, Jeff Hong shocks us by inserting Disney characters into modern-day reality –the Lion King lies dead on the African plain, while Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood has been clearcut.

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The sculptures in Mathilde Roussel’s Lives of Grass, which are “made of soil and wheat grass seeds strive to show that food, it’s origin, it’s transport, has an impact on us beyond it’s taste. The power inside it affects every organ of our body. Observing nature and being aware of what and how we eat might make us more sensitive to food cycles in the world – of abundance, of famine – and allows us to be physically, intellectually and spiritually connected to a global reality.”

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“Art is standing with one hand extended into the universe and one hand extended into the world, and letting ourselves be a conduit for passing energy.” – Albert Einstein 

See Also:
Our Favourite Climate Conscious Artists 
10 Eco Friendly Artists who will Blow Your Mind