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ECO-DESIGNS

7 KINDS OF SUSTAINABLE ART

SUSTAINABILITY IN ART- II

In our previous post ART & SUSTAINABILITY: THE ECO-FRIENDLY WAY, we grab an understanding about the relationship between art and sustainability. The alarming concerns of global warming and climate-change in the past few decades, made us all think about the possible ways to lessen the Earth’s burden and follow a more sustainable lifestyle.

In terms of art, environment friendly ideas, recycling, upcycling, best out of waste, use of natural materials etc can fulfill the requirements of an art been sustainable. Such eco-friendly practices adopted by contemporary architects, designers, and artists have developed a social awareness reflecting the prime objective of sustainability- To save our planet for better future.

Based on the idea of sustainability, art can be of many types or forms. Let us look at 7 of these inspiring forms of sustainable art-

Eco-Friendly booth at the Earth Day Festival in St. Louis, Missouri.

1. ECOLOGICAL ART

Ecological art came into existence around 1960s but gained significant recognition in 1990s. The art revolves around two main subjects- Restoration and Activism.

RESTORATION

Based on the idea of improving something that may be old or already created or needs to be upgraded. Finding new ways to improve something in an environment friendly way is a overall belief of ecological art. Reviving a building or a monument carrying beloved memories of our past into something new seems to be an interesting form of art.

ACTIVISM

The artists, not just create something eco-friendly but become part of an ecological movement. He stands up for his civic responsibility, became conscious about social injustice and environment ethics.

Clean Air India Movement cycle drive promoting eco-friendly methods

2. BIO ART

BioArt is an art practice which involve live tissues, bacterias and microorganisms for producing art. It is done in laboratories using biotechnology (including genetic engineering, tissue culture, and cloning).

Artwork made with bacteria expressing 8 different colors of fluorescent proteins

One survey of the field, Isotope: A Journal of Literary Science and Nature Writing, puts it this way: “BioArt is often ludicrous. It can be lumpy, gross, unsanitary, sometimes invisible, and tricky to keep still on the auction block. But at the same time, it does something very traditional that art is supposed to do: draw attention to the beautiful and grotesque details of nature that we might otherwise never see.

Bio art projects deal with the manipulation of cells and do not involve whole organisms for creating art therefore, do not encourage exploitation of other living beings.

3. CLOSED LOOP FASHION

This is particularly related to fashion industry, for creating eco-friendly clothing that does no harm to our environment. The idea encourage recycling, reusing and reducing textile waste. Sustainable clothing is now a trending concept for the manufacturers and people in the fashion industry. Closed-loop fashion creates a piece of clothing that can be transformed, reused, or recycled back to its original form at any period of time.

For instance, the fibers used to make any cloth can be obtained from old used cloth rather than obtaining new fibers from nature. The fibers can be recycled until they finally turn into biodegradable waste. Following this idea, clothing industry can support sustainability and eco-friendliness at a great scale.

4. LAND ART

It is known with many names- Eco-art, Earth art, environmental art, and Earthworks. Land art first came into highlights during 1960 at the time of conceptual art movement. The art uses things/materials obtained from nature or Earth. Like soil, water, sand, vegetation, rocks, things like leaves, eggshells, corals, pebbles etc are used to create beautiful pieces of art. The art is created on-site, and in remote locations close to nature.

Photograph of Robert Smithson’s earthwork, Spiral Jetty, located at Rozel Point, Utah on the shore of the Great Salt Lake

One of the most popular examples of land art is Spiral Jetty. It is a land art or Earth work constructed in April 1970 by American sculptor  Robert Smithson. It is entirely made out of mud, salt crystals, and basalt rocks at the Great Salt Lake, Utah. Spiral Jetty forms a 1,500-foot-long (460 m), 15-foot-wide (4.6 m) counterclockwise coil jutting from the shore of the lake.

5. RENEWABLE ENERGY SCULPTURE

As clear with the name, the art focuses on renewable energy, a perfect amalgamation of art with science. The sculptures use wind, sunlight, rain, tides and other sustainable energy sources. The artists creating renewable energy sculptures, facilitate sustainability by generating power from the earth’s natural resources in a very creative way. The result is aesthetically pleasing, functional and ecological.

Renewable energy sculpture by the artist Elena Paroucheva

By creating a piece of art that is functional and can actually collect renewable energy, is somewhat a new concept in the field of sustainable art.

6. ECO DESIGN

Ecological design or ecodesign is a sustainable design approach which deals with the production of anything taking into consideration the environmental impacts of that product throughout its lifecycle.

It was defined by Sim Van der Ryn and Stuart Cowan as “any form of design that minimizes environmentally destructive impacts by integrating itself with living processes.”

The biggest eco park in India, Kolkata

Eco-design is a broad term covering everything in its umbrella including green art, sustainable architecture, ecological engineering, green living, eco furnishings and so much more. The idea is to produce anything that is environmental friendly and helps in reducing carbon footprint.

7. UPCYCLING

Best out of Waste is the basic idea behind upcycling which became a popular term in the past few years. This type of art is created by materials that are now unusable, undesirable, broken or waste. This is a sustainable art because it manages the so called “garbage” by transforming it into something useful and pleasing. Rather than throwing away, the art or rather technique, focuses on an alternate way to reuse the article.

These teachers are part of the international Eco-Schools movement which are working towards a cleaner, greener and more sustainable world.

Upcycling is a boon for those artists with limited resources looking forward to create something unique and eco-friendly products for their consumers. The art is worth appreciating and welcomed by the new age crowd.

One popular example of upcycling is “Kintsugi“. It is an age old Japanese art of repairing and restoring broken pottery with gold. The areas of breakage are repaired with special tree sap lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered goldsilver, or platinum. Treating pottery with such precious metals makes them even more valuable and adds worth to a broken object which otherwise would be something to disguise.

KINTSUGI- A JAPANESE ART OF UPCYCLING

See, how easy it is to introduce sustainability in art. We must encourage these new concepts of eco-friendly lifestyles in our everyday life. It is the need of the hour yes, but it is a beautiful way of living.

IMAGE SOURCE: WIKIMEDIA

INSPIRATION: itisourworld

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