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Art

Meditative Murals by Fintan Magee Depict Everyday People Lost in Imaginative Moments

September 16, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Australian artist Fintan Magee travels the world to paint large-scale murals depicting intimate, often tender, moments of focus and imagination. The artist uses his platform as a renowned muralist and studio artist to raise awareness around looming society issues like climate change and forced human migration.

Magee combines a realist style with more abstracted or fantastical elements: a child wearing swimming gear carries an iceberg in his backpack, and a grieving young man’s arms blur and pixelate into geometric patterns. The figures in each piece seem to be unaware of the viewer, gazing off into the distance or attentive to the task at hand. Though his characters are anonymous, everyday people, Magee gives a sense of specificity and personality to each subject, from nuanced facial expressions and gestures to detailed depictions of apparel.

Magee is based in Brisbane, Australia, where he grew up. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Giffith University. He most recently completed murals with Kirk Gallery’s Out in the Open event in Denmark and the Vancouver Mural Festival. See more of Magee’s latest work on Instagram and if you enjoy Magee’s socially conscious portraits, also check out Pat Perry. (via Booooooom)

 

 



Photography

Surreal Blue Spheres of Ice Juxtaposed with Everyday Life Document the Unrelenting Pace of Melting Glaciers

May 31, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

62.15 cubic meters – the average volume of ice lost on Tipra Bank glacier every half hour

Amidst everyday scenes of contemporary India, unusual blue spheres appear atop buildings, nestled next to marigold vendors, and resting on temple steps. Though the composite images, created by photographer Dillon Marsh (previously), are constructed, the chunks of lost glacier ice are a reality. Using data compiled from scientific reports, Marsh calculated and scaled the volumetric ice models for specific mountains that are losing their critically important glaciers. In a statement on the project, Counting the Costs, Marsh explained, “the aim is to draw attention to the dramatic climate changes that continue unabated while we go about our day-to-day lives.”

The South African photographer started this series in India because it is home to some of the world’s tallest mountains, and is planning to expand the series to other countries including the United States and Switzerland. Marsh, who often explores the relationship between the natural and built environment in his work, shares with Colossal that Counting the Costs draws from his previous series, For What It’s Worth. “There are a number of reason I’ve chosen to represent the volumes as spheres, but the primary reason is that it’s a recognizable shape and visually interesting, Marsh explains. “Aesthetically I want the images to be slightly surreal to counterbalance the serious themes I’m tackling.”

The photographer has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions, with his most recent solo show at Hydra + Fotografia in Mexico City. Marsh shares new projects and updates from his travels on Instagram and Behance. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

2.55 cubic meters – the average volume of ice lost on Dunagiri glacier every minute

18.64 cubic meters – the average volume of ice lost on Chhota Shigri glacier every minute

7.06 cubic meters – the average volume of ice lost on Naradu glacier every minute

176.6 cubic meters – the average volume of ice lost on Gara glacier every hour

4.78 cubic meters – the average volume of ice lost on Dokraini glacier every minute

92.58 cubic meters – the average volume of ice lost on Neh Nar glacier every hour

 

 



Art

Dramatic Decaying Flowers in Tiffanie Turner’s Solo Show “What Befell Us” Challenge Notions of Beauty and Perfection

April 23, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Specimen B”, All photographs by Shaun Roberts, courtesy of Eleanor Harwood Gallery

In her latest solo exhibition, What Befell Us, California-based artist Tiffanie Turner explores notions of aging, imperfection, and perishability. Massive flower blossoms including dahlias, garden roses, ranunculus, and strawflowers are formed from Italian crepe paper and span more than five feet across. While in her previous work Turner strove for the ideal phenotype of each flower, in What Befell Us the artist pushes past perfection to investigate our collective relationship to flaws and damage.

The artist shares with Colossal that she felt strongly pulled to focus on climate change and environmental peril in her latest show. She expresses concern that humans’ resistance to perishability with plastic and preservatives also hastens irreparable damage to the earth. And, as a woman experiencing aging in a superficial society, Turner saw personal parallels with our global obsession with freshness and perfection. She explains:

When I started to choose my specimens for this show, instead of superimposing formal imperfections onto these pieces, I sought out flowers that are beautiful even though they are not perfect. For example, the two strawflowers in the show are two sides of the same coin. One is still bright and colorful, but its center is deformed as it starts to lose moisture. The other is older, its petals slumped back from the fading, greying center. Each are “imperfect”, but both are undeniably still beautiful. Why just keep trying to create more beauty. Why can’t we just see more things as beautiful?

What Befell Us is on view at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in San Francisco through June 15, 2019. Follow along with Turner’s latest work via Instagram. And if you’re inspired to create paper flowers of your own, the artist’s in-depth instructional book is available in The Colossal Shop.

“Specimen C”

“Specimen F”

“Specimen G”

“Specimen A”

“Specimen D”

“Specimen D” alternate view

“Specimen E”

Installation view

Installation view

 

 



Art

WATERLICHT: An Immersive Light Installation Conveys the Power and Poetry of Water

March 7, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Dutch artist and designer Daan Roosegaarde created WATERLICHT to raise awareness about rising water levels and the need to continue to innovate and adapt to our changing environment. The ethereal projection uses a combination of LED and lenses, which forms a constantly shifting layer of billowing blue light above the heads of viewers. Since its inception in 2016 as a site-specific artwork for Amsterdam’s Dutch District Water Board, the immersive installation has been shown across the world in London, Toronto, Paris, Rotterdam, Dubai, and at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

In a statement on the artist’s website, WATERLICHT is described as a “dream landscape about the power and poetry of water… WATERLICHT creates a collective experience to share the importance of water innovation.” Roosegaarde seeks to encourage positive thinking towards adaptations like building floating cities and generating power from water, while also offering a visceral reminder of the power of water and how it can reclaim land.

Roosegaarde’s body of work focuses on the complex relationship between people and our natural surroundings, including smog, space waste, and rainbows. He was recently named a visiting professor at Monterrey University in Monterrey, Mexico for 2019. You can discover more of Roosegaarde’s projects on his website, and watch an interview with the artist at the site of WATERLICHT’s Toronto installation in the video below. (thnx Marlies!)

 

 



Art Science

Searing Bands of White Light Mark the Ocean’s Rising Tides in a Coastal Community

March 5, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Documentation of Installation by Pekka Niittyvirta & Timo Aho

A chilling new installation in the Outer Hebrides shows the impact of climate change and rising tides on the low-lying islands off the west coast of Scotland. Lines (57° 59 ́N, 7° 16 ́W)  was created by Finnish artists Pekka Niittyvirta and Timo Aho for Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre in Lochmaddy on the island of North Uist. The site-specific installation uses sensors and LED lights to show where the water will flow during storm surges if the Earth’s temperature continues to rise. Searing white lines mark this rising water level on the sides of buildings, hover over bridges, and extend across other susceptible areas across the museum campus and surrounding community.

The installation’s delineations starkly demonstrate the ticking clock that makes the museum’s current location unsustainable unless drastic measures are taken to stop climate change. The video below shows the artists’ installation process. You can see more from Niittyvirta and Aho on their websites. (via designboom)

 

 



Art

A Whirling Porcelain Coral Reef Draws Attention to the Cost of Climate Change

October 19, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

"Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)" (2018), Glazed stoneware + porcelain, 846 x 570 x 50 cm, image by Amanda Brooks

“Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)” (2018), Glazed stoneware + porcelain, 846 x 570 x 50 cm, photograph by Amanda Brooks

The latest installation by ceramicist and ocean advocate Courtney Mattison (previously) is Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)a porcelain coral arrangement produced for the US Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia. The site-specific work features a vibrant cluster of coral structures at its center which turn stark white the further they are placed from the installation’s core. This shifting gradient references the rapid devastation caused to reefs as temperature levels rise and force corals to lose their colorful algae.

This installation is a celebration of Indonesia’s coral reefs, while also pinpointing the human-caused damage that infects the vibrant systems. “Corals, anemones, sponges and other reef-dwelling invertebrates coalesce into a cyclone-like spiral with colorful healthy corals at the eye of the storm, their tentacles and branches dancing in the current,” explains Mattison. “Toward the edges and tail of the swirling constellation, corals sicken and bleach, exposing their sterile white skeletons—a specter of what could be lost from climate change. Yet at its heart the reef remains healthy, resilient and harmonious.”

"Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)" detail, image by Amanda Brooks

“Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)” detail, image by Amanda Brooks

Indonesia is located at the heart of what is called the “Coral Triangle” or “Amazon of the Sea.” This environment is host to more invertebrate species than can be found anywhere else on the planet, in addition to thousands of species of fish which thrive in the rich ecosystem. Mattison hopes that her handmade constructions of the Coral Triangle’s diverse specimens produces an excitement in viewers while sparking an interest to protect the delicate balance found in Indonesia’s coral systems.

"Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)" detail, image by Courtney Mattison

“Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)” detail, image by Courtney Mattison

Mattison is exhibiting another recent installation titled Afterglow (Our Changing Seas VI) in the group show Endangered Species: Artists on the Frontline of Biodiversity, curated by Barbara Matilsky, at the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Washington through January 6, 2019. Mattison will travel to Bali at the end of October to unveil a 60-foot-long community-based coral installation she designed for the Coral Triangle Center in Sanur, Bali titled Semesta Terumbu Karang—Coral Universe. The work features over 2000 elements sculpted by a team of over 300 volunteers, coral reef conservationists, and Balinese artisans. You can see further conservation-based projects by Mattison on her website and Instagram.

"Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)" detail, image by Courtney Mattison

“Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)” detail, image by Courtney Mattison

“Afterglow (Our Changing Seas VI)” (2018), Glazed stoneware + porcelain, 230 x 260 x 50 cm

"Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)" detail, image by Courtney Mattison

“Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)” detail, image by Courtney Mattison

"Afterglow (Our Changing Seas VI)" (detail)

“Afterglow (Our Changing Seas VI)” (detail)

"Afterglow (Our Changing Seas VI)" (detail)

“Afterglow (Our Changing Seas VI)” (detail)

"Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)" (2018)

“Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)” (2018)

 

 



Art

Support: Monumental Hands Rise from the Water in Venice to Highlight Climate Change

May 12, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Artist Lorenzo Quinn (previously) just finished the installation of a monumental sculpture for the 2017 Venice Biennale. Titled Support, the piece depicts a pair of gigantic hands rising from the water to support the sides of the Ca’ Sagredo Hotel, a visual statement of the impact of climate change and rising sea levels on the historic city. Quinn is known for his work with the human body—specifically hands—that he incorporates into everything from large-scale sculptures down to jewelry designs. Quinn is represented by Halcyon Gallery, and you can see more installation photos and videos of Support on Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 

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