Eco-art

Eco-art is a fresh movement led by artists seeking to explore humans’ relationship with nature. It has an agenda. Some contemporary artists are working on projects that deal with timely environmental issues like climate change. Chris Drury, who is most known for his fantastic woven tree installations, is doing research to make climate change models in art form in conjunction with The Center for Analysis of Time Series in the U.K.. Learn more about his work at http://www.chrisdrury.co.uk/home.htm New Hampshire based eco-artist Tim Gaudreau shares his view that “it is the responsibility of the artist to communicate a relevant vision about our world and society.” His work includes “Lost & Found” type posters that show trash found in wildlife preserves. Gaudreau posted a good definition of eco-art on his website here: http://www.wake-up.ws/eco-art.html

Patricia Johanson’s eco-art is concerned with “impacted ecosystems” in large-scale projects, including some that look like restored wetlands. The Island Institute published a book dedicated to Johanson’s work called, Art and Survival in 2006. Find out more here: http://www.patriciajohanson.com/artandsurvival/index.html For a video of an interview with the artist talking about ecology and a wetlands park, go here. 

On my bulletin board, I have a postcard from a Sandy Litchfield installation called “Captive” that invokes the spirit of Swampthing. With installations titled, “Fill,” “Streamlines,” “Freshwater,” “Around the Lake,” and another called “Plenty of Particulars” that resembles the Cowardin classification system in full color, I wondered if she paid particular attention to wetlands. So I asked her. She told me that her husband is a geo-scientist who works on projects related to climate change, and although conservation issues are important to her, Litchfield is “less inclined to paint about humans as destroyers or polluters of place.” She added, “I’m more interested in how and when humans have felt or expressed intimacy, fondness and love of place. It’s this deep affection that inspires most of my work. Mostly, I want to include the human element in landscape not as an adversary, but as a lover.” See examples of her work at http://www.sandylitchfield.com/

My friend and fellow human ecologist, Josie Rassat, donated some of her wetland-themed art to ASWM last year. Josie says, “Cycles, balances of life, death and reproduction are central themes in my illustrations. I create art like compost: a complex mixture of old growth with organic materials becomes stimulating, earthy substance.” Her saltmarsh series is here: http://www.mixedgreensstudio.com/pages/
saltmarsh.html

Many artists have been creating art in the aftermath of Katrina events. Claire Fenton is a fiber artist working in Louisiana. Some of her pieces are called, “Katrina,” “Riverscape,” “Winter Swamp.” Find samples of her work, e.g. http://www.clairefenton.com/mixed-media-gallery.asp Edward Richards’ photographs document Katrina’s impact:http://www.epr-art.com/katrina/

Check out this blog all about wetlands featured in art:http://artinwetlands.wordpress.com/

Meanwhile these art museums look more like alien ships that have landed in a wetland:http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/9/view/6939/studio-pei-zhu-xixi-wetland-art-museum.html

Or this “elevated wetland” art installation in Toronto (2006)http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/12/elevated_wetlan_1.php

Wetland poster art can be found here: http://www.zazzle.com/wetland+posters

Bolsa Chica Wetlands art photos by Eddie Meeks http://good-times.webshots.com/album/568237015qPNEEX

Eco Art by Debbie Mathew (Discovery Pond: Wetland Art) based in Wyoming with illustrations by 6th graders learning about a local wetlandhttp://www.debbiemathew.biz/CommunityWorks_WebPub/CommunityWork_Discovery.htm

For more information about eco-art and to find eco-artists, visit:http://www.greenmuseum.org/

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