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Climate 'alarm bells', pollution turned into paint and more

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Connecting with nature in everyday life can be difficult. But with a little help, nature can be found everywhere. With that in mind, here are some recent arts and culture news to help bring nature to life wherever you are.

1. Art that inspires a climate ‘wake-up call’

A new exhibition spotlights the beauty of nature at the Serpentine Gallery in central London. It shows how climate change can destroy natural beauty if we don’t act quickly to curb emissions.

The exhibition, which will feature more than 60 artists, poets and filmmakers, aims to “sound an alarm,” Serpentine artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist told The New York Times. .

“I could never say that art could solve this very big problem,” he said. “But I don’t think any single field can solve this alone. I don’t think we can address this threat of extinction unless we work together in different fields: science, art, politics.”

Spanning both indoors and outdoors, the exhibition showcases sculptures in a variety of mediums, including a pine structure created by artists Tabitha Lezer and Youssef Agbo-Ola to dry medicinal plants. An 820-foot-long flowerbed for pollinators created by artist Alexandra Daisy Ginsburg. A sound installation by the late Brian Eno and others.

Vicky Thompson, a climatologist at the University of Bristol in the UK, told the New York Times: “It’s great that exhibitions like Serpentine continue to be commissioned and encourage more people to start talking and thinking about the climate crisis.”

Extending its call to action on climate change, the Serpentine Gallery redesigned its café to feature a ‘climavore’ menu that uses only sustainably caught seafood and seasonal vegetables.

2. Heavy metal concert series appealing the harm of heavy metal

It might seem strange to see musicians in full protective suits playing heavy metal music in the Qinghai Plateau of northwest China.

But listening to their lyrics reveals the band’s mission. From village to town there is garbage. From village to city, garbage is burned,” they sing.

Led by a Chinese artist known as Nut Brother, the concert is part of a series created to draw attention to heavy metal pollution across China. While the country’s air quality has improved in recent years, Nat Brother explained that soil and water pollution from garbage burning has worsened, seeping into soil and water in rural areas.

Nat Brother told The Washington Post, “I have met many villagers who basically have no recourse other than petitioning and calling the relevant authorities to redress their rights violations.” “The distressed villagers are the most silent group. Their voices are hard to hear in the outside world.

This isn’t the first time Nat Brother’s art has drawn attention to environmental issues in China.

“Our project is not that radical,” Nat Brother told The Washington Post. “We don’t move things forward by conflict, we move things forward by imagination.”

3. Turn pollution into paint

From the 19th century onwards, there was a coal mining boom in Ohio, USA. The surge was short-lived, however, and the mine was soon abandoned, leaving acidic wastewater with high concentrations of sulfuric acid and dissolved iron.

This toxic waste seeping into freshwater ecosystems and drinking water poses a problem for both humans and wildlife.

But for artist John Sablow, the bright orange waste was an opportunity to draw attention to Ohio’s pollution. Working with environmental engineer Guy Riefler and the nonprofit Rural Action, Sabraw uses pollutants from the mining industry as a base to extract iron oxide, a common ingredient in paints, pottery and cosmetics, to help the artist to create a grade of paint.

“When I was touring southeastern Ohio, I was hit by a local stream that was not only devoid of aquatic life, but orange, red and brown like a mudslide upstream,” Saburo told Time. “I thought it would be great to paint with this toxic stream.”

Once the iron oxide is extracted, Sabraw and partners heat it up, causing the material to change color depending on the temperature. The dried powders are mixed with resins, polymers and linseed oil to create different types of paints, which Sabouraud uses to create his latest collection of art.

Having dubbed his work ‘Toxic Art’, he recently produced a collection of vibrant and colorful paintings. We hope this will inspire other artists to join us in the fight against pollution.

“now [artists] They feel part of the conversation in a very real way,” Sabouraud told CNN.

Kylie Price is editor-in-chief of Conservation International. Want to read more stories like this? Sign up for email updates here. Click here to donate to Conservation International.

Cover image: Ohio Acid Mine Drainage (© jack pierce)