Polluting our Planet – making it visible through art

Polluting our planet...

is what we have been doing for 250 years or so since the start of the Industrial Revolution.

 

We now know the consequences, for example, the Great Barrier Reef is all but destroyed and we can predict quite accurately the future impact which is bad for us all - severe weather, floods, drought etc.

 

 All of the world leaders signed up for controlling Co2 gas in 2016, what a wonderful achievement! but one major player, the USA, has reversed its policy and is now encouraging the mining of coal (the worst polluter) for example. So polluting our planet continues.

 

I am protesting my way through my paintings, I am building a series. You can see here those I have painted so far. Please comment if you wish to (I really want to hear what you have to say). Use the comments box at the end of the blog please, it is better than Facebook because they are saved and can been seen by others in the future.

 

Thank you.

My paintings about polluting our planet began in a frivolous way. I was not really aware that it affected me deeply as I figure it does most of us.

 Simply called "pollution" I enjoyed creating the almost happy shapes and adding a lot of colour. It was the beginning of my journey

colourful abstract paintings - pollution

surreal paintings painting pollution

This one, the second painting just sorta flowed. I had no intention of using all that red at the start but as it grew I figured only one colour could say what I wanted - red!

 

Only when I was finishing it did I sense some surrealism. I have always shunned surrealism, Dahli never appealed and I think gave surrealism a bad name, but if it works then I am a surrealist! 

 

I have called this painting "Consequences" 

Oh my red again! I have to say I just loved painting this one, sometimes I felt as if I was not in control particularly as the big red shape began to take the form of a foot...

 

the title then became obvious...

 

"Carbon Footprint"

 

Surrealism is here again, do I care? No I am loving it!

surreal art about polluting our planet

Now I am getting serious about creating a series of paintings and painted this one quick and dirty style - that is always refreshing when you get serious 🙂

 

pollution art - engulfed, nearly 

 

It worked ( for me anyway) and surrealism is right up there with the tap in the sky.

So I developed the idea and painted this one...

 


 

I think I may have got carried away, I sorta prefer the quick and dirty one

 

global warming paintings - self destruction - a surreal example in watercolour

Self Destruction. That seems like an apt title and the fact that it is surreal adds emphasis to the nonsense that is believed in The White House.

"At Your Peril" I painted this just as Trump pulled out of the Paris Accord to join Nicaragua and Syria in denial of global warming. Trouble is he is putting us all in peril.

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That's it for now, more to come  🙂 

This is an article by Helen Tower

Helen is a freelance writer and mother. She previously worked in the healthcare sector where she was lucky enough to hold several roles. Since leaving she has embarked on a freelance writing career in order to adopt a more family friendly lifestyle. She hopes that through her writing she can still help people as she did in her past career.

 

 

How Climate Change Denial Is Bad For All Of Us

 

 

We’ve spoken before on this website about the very real dangers of environmental destruction, and the role of art in protesting this. It’s a topic worth shouting about. The Trump Administration’s recent decision to pull the USA out of the Paris Climate Agreement has shocked and horrified world leaders, environmentalists, and ordinary people the world over.

 

People of Trump’s mindset believe that Trump’s actions are not only justified, but morally correct. There’s a pervasive view in many quarters (driven in no small measure by industries with vested interests in fossil fuels etc) that climate change is a myth. It was invented (so the theory runs) for purposes which vary depending on which climate-change denier you’re talking to - but the destruction of modern ways of life, hatred of American business, and general conspiracies against the American people are common themes. Scientific proofs on the topic are inevitably cried down as either ‘fake’, ‘elitist’, or ‘crackpot’ during debate. People who don’t believe in climate change think that Trump has done the right thing in pulling the USA out of the Paris Climate Agreement. They believe that his actions will aid the American economy, with no negative consequences. They see this as a strike for truth, freedom, and the American way of life.

 

Anti-American reasons for what they see as the spreading of a false rumor are frequently cited by climate-change deniers. This does not explain why scientists and governments all over the world are trying their utmost to combat climate change. Scientists the world over are in complete agreement that climate change is

A very real phenomenon

Anthropocentric (i.e. caused, to a certain extent, by human action)

Wiping out habitats and species at an unprecedented rate

A serious danger for humanity on pretty much every level - not only in the future, but now.

 

The potential implications for climate change on human life are enormous. Already, in African nations like Nigeria, poor harvests and environmental uncertainties caused directly by climate change are leading to volatile situations. Tensions are running high as people worry about the future of their crops, and extremist groups like Boko Haram are taking advantage of the fear and uncertainty to gain a real foothold.

 

Meanwhile, coastal nations are struggling to deal with the consequences of ocean acidification. People who rely on the sea to make a living are having an extremely hard time. The Great Barrier Reef is essentially dead due to ‘bleaching’ caused by rising sea temperatures and an altered ocean PH. This has a knock-on effect on Australian tourism, and those who rely on fishing are staring down an extremely bleak looking future.

 

In the frozen regions of the world, melting ice caps, diminishing glaciers, and melting permafrost presents an incredibly serious danger for the entire planet. The melting of permafrost threatens not only to exacerbate the climate-change situation enormously by releasing thousands of tonnes of previously frozen-in greenhouse gases, but also by reviving a whole, scary variety of diseases which have been ‘sleeping’ in the ice for millennia. In 2016, a young Siberian boy died from anthrax he’d been exposed to when the disease was released by permafrost melted in a heatwave. The deeper the melt goes, the older (and potentially more dangerous, because we’re unprepared for and non-resistant to) the released diseases will get.

 

As the ice caps melt, sea levels are rising - which puts low-lying coastal regions at serious risk of flooding. Our own Louisiana is likely to end up underwater due to this phenomenon.

 

Here in the USA, extreme weather patterns caused by climate change are already causing major issues. We’ve had hurricanes, big freezes, droughts, insufferable heatwaves, and more. As the Earth struggles to adjust to its new temperatures, jetstreams and other weather-influencers are knocked out of their accustomed patterns - causing extreme and unpredictable weather conditions. Furthermore, our beloved wildernesses, national parks, and rural areas are likely to be permanently altered as climate change progresses. Even if humans manage to adapt to new conditions and survive, many (if not most) of the plant and animal species we love today won’t. Nature is incredibly important for its own sake - but it also has a huge part to play in human health. We rely on the natural world for many of our essential resources. Even assuming that we can replicate these essentials artificially, the mental health benefits of spending time in natural and biodiverse environments are irreplaceable. Access to healthy natural environments is a huge boon for people with mental health problems, and those who care for them.

 

Trump’s refusal to help combat climate change is born of ignorance - sometimes of willful ignorance - and a peculiar mistrust of scientific proof. It puts all of us in danger. Art has a long and noble history of raising awareness of serious issues, and changing minds on crucial topics. There may never have been a topic as crucial as climate change. If art can help to convince people of the terrible reality of what we’re facing, it is important that we artists do our bit.

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6 Comments

  1. Alan,
    Loving your ideas, concepts and new direction in your work. Surrealism suits you well, it actually depicts what you are trying to get across without be to literal. The red footprint is quite wonderful, I lenjoyed seeing the drawing and then seeing how you developed it into a painting.

  2. Kathy Gibson

    Alan, this is such an exciting series you are developing!The emotion you paint with resonates so deeply with me!It will be thrilling to see the work to come!!

    • Thank you Kathy

      • Kathy Gibson

        You have INSPIRD me! I just am working on the first piece that puts the ” feel” of this very contentious political climate in the States at the moment.So , like you… RED!( color.. not political affiliation).Thanks for the spark!

  3. Val Yeboah

    Very powerful and also beautiful.

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