A recent issue of the UK's Guardian
posed the question "Can Artists Save the World?
" The article is a great read and points out the carbon footprint left by movie production, the move towards carbon neutral film production and sustainable fabrics in costume design, and the contradictions that arise when public perception of artists meet eco-friendly themes. As the social conscious becomes more aware of environmental issues, artists, in turn, respond by developing active and practical applications of art.
As a musician and artist, myself, I agree with the general premise of the article: "Artists can communicate in a way that scientists can't." The act of viewing a piece of art, be it a film, eco-art or land art, can be more powerful than being lectured to out of a book, or reading a magazine article. These pieces can act as a sort of shock to the senses, that could set off a chain reaction in the mind of one who never thought about a certain issue. For example, we saw an overwhelming response to film "An Inconvenient Truth." Would this have been as effective as just a book? Certainly not.
As we put up the good fight for environmental issues we must always remember that "seeing is believing," and an effective way to recruit more members on the team is through the arts. Art may not be the answer, but it can start the discussion, a discussion that can lead to education and awareness. I would urge everyone to make a piece of eco-art for their home or apartment. A piece made from restored, recycled, sustainable materials would make a great addition to any room and serve as a constant reminder to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.