Creative art has a powerful meaning in modern society and many artists use their talent to raise awareness about environmental issues. This is an effective way to bring these often forgotten issues to the public, drive conversations, and possibly change the public’s behavior. Here are a few examples of artists that have used their arts as activism.
Paulo Grangeon’s 1,600 Pandas
To bring attention to the declining number of pandas in the world, French sculptor Paulo Grangeon created 1,600 papier-mâché bears to represent the number of pandas left on the planet. In collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund, he then went on tour all over the globe to exhibit his unusual project.
Giant Wave Made of Straws
Single-use plastic straws have been increasingly recognized as an unnecessary convenience and an environmental threat. In 2018, artist and photographer Benjamin Von Wong decided to join the conversation by making a giant wave sculpture out of thousands of plastic straws—168,000 to be precise. Wong, a native to Vietnam, collected used plastic straws from his country and put his piece together with a team of volunteers. The sculpture, named Strawpocalypse, was installed at a museum.
Olafur Eliasson’s Icebergs
Global warming has many consequences on our environment, including the melt and break of glaciers. Artist Olafur Eliasson took some pieces of ice that broke off from Iceland’s largest glacier and displayed them in a refrigerated gallery space. Eliasson went a step further by powering the refrigerated space with solar panels.
Written by Kelly Jean, Class of 2021