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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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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wildlife in my garden

Three young hedgehogs are snuffling round my vegetable garden and one knowingly finds a way into the fruit-cage. I leave bowls of water around the garden, the days are very hot and dry.  Hedgehog populations are declining drastically. see https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/state-britains-hedgehogs-2018/   And there are very few butterflies around. One or two Tortoiseshell, a few green-veined white, a Red Admiral, a Peacock. Occasionally I see a Comma, and a Painted Lady. Inn the woodland there are Speckled Wood, a few Ringlets and the small browns – the gatekeeper and meadow brown. There are more whites now, my kale plants are well netted! For many years I counted wildlife in my garden and… Read More

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Bearah Tor trees

A walk to Bearah Tor on Bodmin Moor, not far from my studio. Very hot, each low hawthorn tree was providing shelter to a sheep with her lamb.  Stopped to make a few quick sketches on my phone pad (new to me – I like it, though it’s very small and maybe use a pointed tool rather than my finger)     Then in water colours.                                Back in the studio I made a series of small oil paintings:                     see the tree series      … Read More

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Per Kirkeby

Image: “Untitled”, 1999 Oil on canvas 78 3/4 x 118 1/8 inches 200 x 300 cm  © Per Kirkeby, Courtesy Galerie Michael Werner Märkisch Wilmersdorf, Cologne & New York Danish artists inspired by geology, whose oil paintings are notable for their organic palette. Having read his obituary this week I’ve looked at his work online – https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/art-artists/name/per-kirkeby-hon-ra and http://michaelwerner.com/artist/per-kirkeby/works I love the colours, the use of lines and scratches, sometimes abstract and other works are landscape, or possibly both within a single composition. He was a member of the New York based, international Fluxus group (Latin word Fluxus means flowing) which shared attitude rather than a movement, with experimental musicians and artists, somewhat revolutionary and anti-art.… Read More

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