What is “Green Art” or “Environmental Art”? Throughout the ages, artists have responded to the challenges and issues relevant and prevalent during their lives. Currently, we are faced with the loss of biodiversity, with many species of animals, birds, insects and reptiles on the brink of possible extinction, or already extinct. We are beset with environmental, social and economical instability. This is partly, if not largely, due to unequal distribution of wealth and resources, the abuse and depletion of resources, greed, and pollution. These issues or themes are increasingly becoming a focus and inspiration for artists throughout the world.  


 

Environmentally-focused art could play a very significant role in collective concern and activism, as one of art’s main premises is to question and challenge accepted perceptions, values, or beliefs. Art also offers new solutions and inspires new understandings about the world around us, therefore playing an important role in how we change our actions and our relationship with the earth. 


 

When choosing materials and techniques for your art, think about the following: 

  • Does your paint contain synthetic pigments, and if so, why? If it’s to preserve an endangered species, then the use of such products is warranted, but if the synthetic paint is hazardous in any way, then think twice about using it, and thereby supporting its continued manufacture.
  • Think about what you’ll do with the tubes afterwards. Maybe flatten them out and use them to create new artworks or containers for art materials.  Throwing something away just sends it to the landfill, from where it could easily seep toxins from unnatural waste into underground water tables.
  • Are your materials imported from another country? Is there an alternative of equal quality produced locally? If not, could you choose another brand which is imported from a country located closer to  yours?
  • What are your brushes made of? Research the difference between animal hair brushes and synthetic brushes. How is the hairs made or obtained?
  • Does your paper come from sustainable sources or plantations, rather than illegal plundering of virgin forests?
  • How much water is used in creating your art materials and artworks?

 

Read the full two-part article on StateoftheART:

GREEN ART: AN INTRODUCTION | PART I
GREEN ART: AN INTRODUCTION | PART II