It’s Sunday! Dimanche! Domingo! Domenica! 日曜日 ! Sonntag! 일요일 ! Neděle! … Solis.
In Latin, the word Sunday literally translates ‘day of the sun’ and I felt it was fitting for today. We spend so much time enjoying the sun’s benefits, but very little time actually crediting this sphere of hot plasma that is the center of our solar system.
But this is only partially true. Because over the last decade or so, the sun has been the indirect topic of a really big environmental topic: global warming. If you are unfamiliar with climate change- jump over to NASA’s official page on the subject.
And scientists aren’t the only ones interested in these changes to the Earth: here are 12 artists that engage in the conversation of climate change through the lens of art:
(excerpt from The New York Times article) “In response to South Florida’s vulnerability to rising sea levels, the village of Pinecrest, Florida will encourage its 6,000 households to install an “Underwater HOA” yard sign (similar to the 18- by 24-inch “Home for Sale” yard signs used by realtors) on their front lawns during the first week of December. I numbered each yard sign from 0 to 17 feet (the municipality’s land elevation range) to show how many feet of melted glacial water must rise before a particular property is underwater. The backdrops of the signs are watercolor paintings I made in Antarctica while a fellow with the National Science Foundation Antarctic Artist & Writers Program in 2006. These paintings were created using water from the very glaciers that threaten to melt and drown Miami.”
(excerpt from Wide Walls) “His subtle and intelligent work covers topics such as freedom, peace and poetry. His simple yet powerful murals and site-specific installations cleverly interact and incorporate the surrounding architectural features into the compositions.”
(excerpt from artist’s website) “Cohen's most ambitious work to date, Estuary resulted from months of intense study and observation of the biotic community (and its abiotic environment) that forms part of the complex ecosystem of the Mullica River and the Great Bay Estuary of New Jersey's Pine Barrens.”
Referencing the near-extinction of coral reefs, Takayama-Ogawa’s work reflects the death of coral reefs due to increased carbon dioxide levels (which elevate water temperatures and kill algae- the coral reefs primary food source). (excerpt from interview) ““I’ll be staying with this [theme] for a very long time,” she says. “It’s one of the most important issues of our time.”
The Guardian and Classic FM Radio teamed up to give listeners an audio description of climate change. “Each year since the late 19th century is assigned a note based on temperature and carbon presence, with the notes becoming higher and louder as both of those metrics increase as the decades roll on.”
This American rapper released his song ‘Earth’- solo + accompanying music video this year. All sales from the song go directly to the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to support the environment. The song, while cheeky and clever, hosts a massive cast of other singers including Ariana Grande, Kanye West, and Sia, among others. The video, as of today, has 155M views.
These five directors have brilliantly and creatively tackled climate change in the film industry. Their documentary Hands On: Women, Climate, Change addresses the drastic changes in four different locations across the world, showcasing the rapid changes to weather and its impact on the land these women inhabit, farm, and travel.
McGuire’s graphic novel Here is hitting the pages of my blog for a second time this year. This graphic novel is a wonderful conversation starter about climate change and a must ‘read’ for all ages. (excerpt from bio) “Richard McGuire is an American illustrator, comic book artist, children's book author, and musician. His illustrations have been published in the New York Times, The New Yorker, and Le Monde.”
On The Nature of Things tackles science and dance. “The dancers come from the Armitage Gone! Dance Company, the Manhattan Youth Ballet and other dance communities in NYC. “They are meant to evoke the perils and harmony and chaos of our world, which comes through in the music and body language... Our job was about balancing a very non-judgmental, objective text with the dance and the music.”
The fashion industry is the second highest source of pollution in the world. Read that again: the second highest. Fashion Designer “Misha Nonoo started her eponymous line to stop the stress of dressing, so the modern women can spend more time pursuing her passions. Her best-selling 'Easy 8' collection shows just that, with eight pieces that come together to create 22 different looks. Recently, two cashmere designs expanded her collection, with can be personalised for the perfect gift. Sustainability is at the core everything. Her clothes have a long and valuable life, as she uses innovative production and distribution to avoid unnecessary waste and only works with one seasoned factory for ethical practices.” I looked into this ‘Easy 8’ collection and it is a lifetime collection of eight pieces that really do create 22 unique outfits and the price tag is under $2k for the whole collection. Imagine spending $2,000 and never spending another dime on clothing again!
Prince Ea is a ‘activist, speaker, and filmmaker’ and he’s giving me goosebumps with his work. This poetry artist’s Dear Future Generations: Sorry is a moving collaboration of poetry, video, and visuals that addresses climate change and its impact on our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Before I go, I want to connect with anyone who is reading this- but immediately scoffed or tuned out because they don’t personally believe in climate change. I also want to connect with those who believe that climate change is of no consequence because their religion has deemed that Earth an object to own and use as he pleases. Climate change is very real, it’s not a conspiracy theory, and there is scientific data to evidence the changes occurring. Please take another look, with an open mind, and consider the risks to your children and grandchildren if climate change is real and will worsen. To those who acknowledge climate change and claim that the planet is “theirs to do with as they please”- having the power to abuse doesn’t mean that its the right choice. Take care of what you have been given.
Thank you for taking the time to read about these wonderful artists. I hope you connect with one, some, or all in a meaningful way.