The relationship between sustainability, art, and design has been a longstanding one, and as the awareness to protect our planet grows, more and more artists are becoming conscious of the broader impact of their work and their relationship to the environment. But what exactly constitutes sustainable art?
There are two sides to sustainable art: artworks that deal with environmental issues and provoke thoughts and conversations on the topic, or art practices that can be considered eco-friendly, often making use of found or recycled materials.
Read on to learn more about the intersection of art and sustainability through our picks of some of the most intriguing sustainable artists out there.
LIFE Wood Works
Takahiro Hirano is a Japanese furniture maker that uses salvaged wood and offcuts to create unique, no-waste pieces that are good for the environment. In the process of tree cutting, the base of a tree is rarely used commercially after the majority of the tree is cut off, as its density and irregularly shape make it difficult to be turned into products.
Unfortunately, the remnants of these trees bases can accumulate into large amounts of damage near rivers and dams. Founding LIFE Wood Works, Hirano salvages this wood and creates wonderful wooden pieces of unconventional shapes and irreplaceable quality.
Learn more at lifewoodwork.theshop.jp
Combining different materials ranging from found objects to organic elements, Pannaphan Yodmanee is a Thai artist painting religious imagery in the style of murals on wrecked brick, rock, and concrete slabs. Reminiscent of temple paintings, her works of abstract forms bring about scenes of violence and destruction brought on by religious wars.
Exploring themes surrounding Buddhist philosophy, cosmology, and the natural phenomena of time, loss, and death, the artist poses the important question of what can happen if humans continue to live in ignorance, hatred, and misunderstanding.
Learn more at instagram.com/pannaphanyodmanee
Fascinated by the interaction of man-made constructions and organic shape, Henrique Oliveria is a Brazilian artist who creates large-scale installations out of a variety of recycled materials. Inspired by the temporary wooden construction fences seen throughout the city of São Paulo where he lives, the artist used the deteriorated plywood he had seen for two years from his studio window for his first-ever installation.
Today, his massive, spatial constructions that combine painting, architecture, and sculpture make up immersive and sculptural environments that often take up the vast expanse of spacious galleries. Though sometimes incorporating new plywood into his work, Oliveria’s primary material remains the discarded wood collected on the streets of São Paulo.
Learn more at henriqueoliveira.com
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