Costing the earth

Climate change How do we make the invisible visible? Can artists, alongside scientists, make artwork to do this? Listening today to this Radio 4 programme ‘Costing the Earth’ https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m00017b8 Artists have always responded to the environment, but “this is a real problem now…. because the environment is under threat”. How can we make art now about the relationship of human beings to the environment – “…… we have become a disease on the surface of the planet. This changes everything.” (Julian Spalding, former director of the Natural History Museum).   Related Images:

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60%

Humanity has managed to wipe out 60% of Earth’s animal populations since 1970 The Living Planet Index, produced for WWF by the Zoological Society of London, uses data on 16,704 populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians, representing more than 4,000 species, to track the decline of wildlife between 1970 and 2014. www.wwf.org.uk/updates/living-planet-report-2018 We are continuing to destroy habitats, pollute air and water, and add to the causes of climate change.  Our consumption of food and resources is destroying the web of life that has been billions of years in the making.  The biggest cause of wildlife losses is the destruction of natural habitats, much of it to create farmland.… Read More

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abstract artists

Why abstract? Some quotes and comments on abstraction, I find these useful to return to: ‘The picture is not the vehicle of meaning: it is the meaning.’ Patrick Heron.  Heron’s work stems from his belief of painting not being dependant on external references for its meaning:  the impact on the viewer is not dependant on describing the world beyond. For Heron, the meaning was in the painted surface, the all-over interconnected and unified visual field – balance of composition through colour, light and shape. The distinction between figure and ground does not exist as each colour-shape or area however large or small, is as important within the painting as any… Read More

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12-year window

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate (IPCC – http://ipcc.ch/organization/organization.shtml ) change have published a key report which calls for urgent action to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C in order to prevent environmental catastrophe. The IPCC assessments draws on the work of hundreds of scientists from all over the world who volunteer their time and expertise. The report illustrates mounting impacts and fast-approaching, irreversible tipping points. Nicolas Stern: Accelerate the transition to clean and sustainable growth or suffer the mounting damage from sea-level rise, floods and droughts that will severely hinder efforts to tackle poverty, raise living standards and improve prosperity…… Governments, companies and communities should embrace this transition to a clean and sustainable… Read More

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acrylic paints

I’ve been experimenting with acrylic paint as an alternative to oil paints. Firstly because I wanted to work more quickly, and acrylics dry in a few hours, or overnight. But also I’m attracted to the wide range of colours, and how easy these are to use thinly, as a fluid, or thicker with medium, and to add textures. For reference I’ve looked at artists who work in acrylic paint, or changed from oils to acrylics. Here are a few I’ve admired:  Helen Frankenthaler (1928–2011) changed from oils to acrylics. Best known for her works in thinned oil paints poured onto unprimed canvas so that the colour would seep into the canvas, working… Read More

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Yawning at the apocalypse

A pig ate his fill of acorns under an oak tree and then started to root around the tree. A crow remarked,’ You should not do this. If you lay bare the roots, the tree will wither and die.’ ‘Let it die,’ said the pig. ‘Who cares so long as there are acorns?’   [adapted from a fable by Andrew Krylov in the article quoted below]   Yawning at the apocalypse is the title of an article I’ve just read in ‘the psychologist’ magazine , written by Cameron Brick and Sander van der Linden, on how psychologists can help solve the largest social dilemma in history – climate change. Here’s a couple of… Read More

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