Earth Day takes place every year to remind us that we all share one planet, and we need to protect it. This year’s theme is Restore Our Earth, and there are live online and outdoor events happening all over the world throughout the day, including Northern Ireland! Art is an important platform for protest, new ideas and challenging the status quo, including the fight against climate change. All over the world there are so many visual artists who want their work to inspire people to take action to save the Earth or at least remind them about important issues that they may have forgotten.
One of the reasons artists want to protect the Earth is because our environment is an endless source of inspiration. To make sure that future artists can keep painting beautiful landscapes like Claude Monet or Georgia O’Keefe, or vivid animals and birds like Henri Rousseau and Thomas Brezing, we all need to protect our wildlife and natural resources wherever we can.
Many artists are not only inspired by the landscape they live in, but actually interact with it to create new art, for example Jessica Warboys. To make Sea Painting (2013) Warboys actually submerged her canvas with raw paint on it in the sea, allowing the water, waves and tides to create patterns.
You can download our special Earth Day edition of the Junior Gallery newsletter to find out more about Jessica Warboys and other artists making sustainable and environmental art.
We all need to be climate activists now and work together to fight against companies and governments who continue to damage our Earth by using up its resources, destroying natural habitats or creating pollution and waste. And we can all take smaller actions in our daily lives that make a difference too.
How Can I Help To Restore the Earth With Art?
Make an Earth Day window sign! There are ideas for signs and slogans here on the Earth Day website. Or you can use our Love Our Planet illustration! Once you’re done, don’t forget to add your picture to the global map!
Make art with rubbish! Using things that would otherwise be thrown out to make art is a great way to reduce waste. Upcycling and using found objects are key principles of the sustainable art movement, which also tries to use methods and processes that don’t cause waste or damage to the environment. Artists like Choi Jeong Hwa, Vanessa Barragao and El Anatsui use recycled materials in their work. Try our wonderful workshops like Cute Creatures or Little Plastic Family!
Don’t use glitter! Glitter contains microplastics, which can find their way into rivers and oceans. They harm fish and sea-life and take decades to break down. Scientists say that unfortunately biodegradable or ‘eco’ glitter is no better for the environment. So best to avoid using it if you can, and find some shiny alternatives.
Read more about sustainable art and art as climate activism: