Unlike the past couple of artists I’ve talked about, John Sabraw is more of what you think of when you hear the term “artist”. His sustainable works follow along more the traditional lines of artistry, since he paints images that “point out similar synergies between natural phenomena and man-made structures in the landscape around him” (Gibson). Sabraw uses Corkboard harvested from Portugal to paint these vivid images. These images range from clouds of interstellar dust to basic everyday items that every viewer has in instant connection with. The best thing about these paintings are the way in which they come about and are transformed into these magnificent spectacles. Each painting has between six to twenty four layers of paint that has been painstakingly applied over weeks and weeks. The final effect of this is phenomenal though, since it raises questions such as “Is the circle a slice of earthen jasper, a flaring gamma ray in the night sky, a swatch of algae, a single cell of energy pulsing in the body?” (Gibson).
When asked to describe his work in one word, Sabraw uses the word “sustainability”. The way in which he exhibits sustainability are endless, and here are a few:
- Doesn’t paint on canvas, uses aluminum sandwiched by a plastic core, wont corrode or crack
- Bamboo frames that are organically grown
- Water-based clear coat
- Lightweight pieces save on shipping costs
- Water-based paints
- Paint created from iron runoff in coal mines
All in all, Sabraw’s work embodies what it is to be a sustainable artist, and is very thought provoking and overall truly breathtaking.
Gibson, A. (2012, May). Earth Works: Artist John Sabraw makes a case for sustainable art in a new series of paintings that celebrate the natural world . In Ohio University. Retrieved January 25, 2013
Hugh Pocock, a New Zealand-born American, is an artist who actively works in video, sculpture and installation art. However, he has some very peculiar art projects, as we’re about to learn soon. However, I’d first like to talk about some of Pocock’s background. He is currently an art professor at MICA, or Maryland Institute College of Art, where he focuses most of his teaching on sculpture and video. As far as the environmental aspect of his work goes, he mainly focuses on “the points of transaction between culture and natural phenomena” (MICA) and more specifically the “issues surrounding the earth’s natural resources and man’s relationship to the production and consumption of energy” (ArtDaily). This last aspect of his environmental focus is the one I would like to discuss today, by showing his project named “My Food, My Poop”.
MFMP is an artistic experiment in which Pocock tried to understand the energy produced by our bodies through the amount of food and drink consumed on a daily basis. He went through a meticulous and precise process that lasted him 63 days in which he carefully weighed and recorded everything that went into and out of his body, as well as daily activities he performed. The reason this is important as far as sustainable art goes is because Pocock did this to bring attention to several matters such as the role of the sun’s energy in everything on this earth. In accordance with this, he also discusses the important matter of fossil fuels in daily life, and how absolutely dependant we are on them, much like the sun’s energy. Finally he talked about the human body’s continuous energy cycle, and how that plays in with the previous two. This artwork is displayed as wooden blocks that are weighted according to the amount of food, waste and energy produced. The totals were as follows:
Total food intake: 511 lb 8 oz
Total waste: 255 lb 4 oz
Total energy: 253 lb 5 oz
Hugh Pocock: My Food My Poop Opens at The Contemporary Museum (2009, May 22). In ArtDaily. Retrieved January 17, 2013, from http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int_sec=11&int_new=30959#.UPi2f29fCSo
Hugh Pocock (n.d.). In MICA. Retrieved January 17, 2013, from http://www.mica.edu/About_MICA/People/Faculty/Faculty_List_by_Last_Name/Hugh_Pocock.html
Eve Mosher, an artist living in the heart of New York City, is someone who truly appreciates the value of nature in a bustling city. Although it may seem that there is hardly any green, living life in the bland setting of New York, thanks to Mosher, there is a sustained effort to take advantage of the seemingly endless rooftops that are readily available to provide more of it. She did this by starting a project in 2011 called “Seeding The City”, in which she had buildings install a 4′x4′ plant tray on their roof. In addition, she asked that each participating building owner contact three more and ask them to take part as well. Although her project started out relatively slow, before too long she had buildings installing more and more of the trays. In addition, her project soon eclipsed the 1000 participant mark. Also, each building bore a flag that stated it was a participant, such as the one below. Although the purpose behind Mosher’s work wasn’t to necessarily change the environment in New York per se, it was geared more to raise awareness of the urban environment and how easily it can be changed for the better.
This is only one example of her work, a work in which it’s main focus is to raise awareness for environmental aspects of a big city such as New York. This theme is commonplace among much of her work that focuses on raising awareness. Another example is her work titled Inter-Related, that is basically several sculptures of native birds, bees and butterflies-animals that share a symbiotic relationship with native plants- that are made of recycled paper and the seeds of plants found in the area. When the sculptures eventually are weathered down, the seeds disperse, thus helping the plants and the environment in general. As you can see, much of Mosher’s work is very practical and focuses on raising awareness for varying topics while at the same time being quite practical and functional. Overall I would have to give Mosher a rating of 5/5 due to the social aspect of her work, generating interest and community involvement. Also, she is directly helping the environment through her work and leaving no sort of negative footprint.
Grant, Daniel. “”Sustainability” Has Become a Growing Focus of Artists’ (and Art Schools’) Attention.” Huffington Post. January 13, 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-grant/sustainability-and-art-schools_b_1417562.html.
Mosher, Eve S. Eve Mosher. January 13, 2013. http://www.evemosher.com/.