Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Paintings bring us face to face with sea waste

In the 1950s, the vivid colours, loud lettering and wry humour of pop art held a mirror up for the nascent consumer culture. The American painter Karen Hackenberg follows in the footsteps of Andy Warhol as she tries to rouse the plastic-addicted consumers of the 21st century.

The painter, from Port Townsend in Washington State, puts the tremendous amount of plastic waste encountered during her daily seaside walks – packaging, bottles, toothbrushes and toys – in the centre of her paintings. Viewers see the monumental plastic bottles and toy soldiers that occlude the seaside landscapes painted in a traditional style from the perspective of a sunbather at the beach.

The paintings in the series entitled Watershed are infused with the uncertainty engendered by our derailed world.

The series entitled Ukiyo-e (The floating world) was inspired by the waste that was washed to US shores by the 2011 tsunami: the objects floating over the beautiful landscape are a palpable reminder of the incessant flood of plastic.

The images are from Karen Hackenberg’s website and Facebook page
Further information: Artists & Climate Change

A captivating record about the rivers of Amazonia

A special album by the American composer Philip Glass and Brazilian band Uakti takes us on a journey to the riversides of the Amazonian Basin. The album entitled Aguas da Amazonia, published in 1999, invokes both the playful and the spellbinding aspect of water with a blend of classical, new age and jazz music.

Transitory art, enduring message

Simon Beck is a lover of snowy landscapes. He began to create his massive but ephemeral artworks on untouched fields of snow inspired by the complex but fragile shapes of snowflakes.

Evergreen song about the sea born in a cataclysm

The French chanteur and songwriter Charles Trenet wrote one of his most popular songs about the sea. The graceful, catchy tune can evoke the mood of the sea anytime, anywhere. But the world was going up in flames when the song was written.

William Basinski: Watermusic

William Basinski, the American composer known for his meditative, melancholy style is an iconic figure of experimental music. His songs, almost all of which are recorded using some obsolete technology on analogue tape resonate with the tragedy of temporality, the mystery of time, the ephemeral nature of existence.

Museo Atlántico – an underwater sculpture park

The British sculptor and scuba instructor Jason deCaires Taylor has been working for years to raise awareness of the dangers that threaten the oceans. That is why his monumental works made of highly durable materials are installed along seashores and even at the bottom of the sea.

Australian artist inspired by pristine beaches

Sidney-based artist Maria Antuanelle uses a special technique to produce breathtakingly beautiful paintings of ocean shores untouched by human hand.

Sea Walls – murals tell stories about the oceans

The public art programme of the PangeaSeed Foundation aims to focus attention on the importance of preserving the oceans. Since its launch in 2014, more than two hundred and fifty artists have joined the initiative: their murals proclaim the beauty and the vulnerability of the seas in fifteen countries, on some 350 walls.

Sea-art: an exciting artistic collaboration with corals

The over fifteen-year-old street art formation 1UP Crew have left the streets of Berlin for the bottom of the ocean in Indonesia to bring awareness to one of the greatest problems of the oceans, the destruction of coral reefs by pollution and warming.

Climate charts transformed into graffiti art

Alisa Singer is one of the growing number of artists who wish to use their creative toolkit to make the alarming reality behind the dry numbers of climate statistics more tangible, comprehensible.

Elegy for the Arctic

The Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi performed his composition in an extraordinary location: on a floating platform in the middle of the ocean near the Wahlenbergbreen Glacier in Norway, to raise awareness of the dangers threatening the Arctic. The message of the Elegy, born from anxiety for the disappearing ice caps, is more relevant than ever.