The Intersection of Arts and Ecology: An Exhibition

Art is a unique, powerful tool for sparking discussion and catalyzing solutions. It speaks across language barriers, provokes reactions and reflection, and translates complicated subject matters into a digestible form. When addressing challenges as ambitious as sustainability and climate action, art plays a critical role in mobilizing action.

For Sustainability Week Geneva 2021, the IHEID Environmental Committee and Uni Art UNIGE have partnered to put together The Intersection of Arts and Sustainability: An Exhibition.

The aims of this exhibition are twofold:

  1. Provide a space and platform for eco-activist artists to promote their talents and perspective, and
  2. Generate conversation about the eco-art showcase and the environmental challenges, solutions, and perspectives it depicts.
ArtistWork
Aetefyra[Sans titre]
Billy Tschuy“Comic-strips from Donut’s World”
Charlotte Qin“Bleeding”
“Dreaming”
“Healing”
Elzed[Sans titre]
Emilie Berthouzoz[Sans titre un]
[Sans titre deux]
Laurie Buisson“Coexistence”
Stella“Fresh Kills, Psyché chamboulée”
“Eau”
“Création. Naissance, embryon en pleine croissance”
Vorlette Fakhri“Top hand-made from a leftover climbing rope”

AETEFYRA (ALEXIA PASTEELS)

Etudiante en Science de la Terre et de l’Environnement

CONTACT :
Instagram : @artefyra

« Inspirée de la nature, de l’humain et de son lien avec celle-ci, j’aime créer des combinaisons surréalistes et fantastiques du monde du vivant. Cette semaine je vous dévoile ma relation avec les arbres par des aquarelles, des croquis, des dessins et des textes. »

[Sans titre]

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BILLY TSCHUY

CONTACT :
Instagram : @billytschuy24 & @donut.thewolf

“Comic-strips from Donut’s World”

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CHARLOTTE QIN

Charlotte Qin is an artist, scientist, and creative director based in Geneva
Check out her work at www.qintheory.studio.

CONTACT :
Email: info@qintheory.studio
Instagram: @qintheory.studio

“Bleeding”

Water is the root of all life and the bloodstreams of the planet. Bleeding symbolises the planet with open wounds resulted from the chronic depletion and exploitation of water, the life-giving element. The painting is one from the artist’s collection on Water, a meditation series contained in circular canvases that liberate the spiral, chaotic nature of water. In this painting created at the Leman lakefront in Geneva, the artist uses the water from the lake, which reciprocates her emotions that were taken away by the story of the river: leaving the glaciers to encounter modern civilisations on its way to meet the ocean.

Water is perpetually regenerated through the water cycle, the constant movement of water on, above, and below the surface of the Earth. What we called the water crisis is the result of the depletion and interruption of the water cycle. For example, the dispersal of domestic and industrial waste, largely from agricultural, pharmaceutical, and textile industries, and heavy metals from mining operations clot and pollute the drinking water, contaminate the soil, and threaten lives dependant on it. Over-pumping of aquifers for mining and fossil fuel production, has left the natural reservoir depleted, unable to return to its regenerative process. Moreover, under future conditions of climate change, the droughts and floods worsen, the glaciers which refill the rivers year after year are diminishing, the phytoplankton, the base of the aquatic food web, have been attacked by the acidification of oceans. Finally, commodification and privatisation schemes of water limit the free flow of water and its true nature to flourishing all lives. Without realising and treating the root problems of the crisis and healing the wounded water system, any action taken in the name of sustainability is merely an expensive delusion.

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“Healing”

Healing is one of the twin paintings from Charlotte’s collection on Dragon. The Dragon Series is a modern interpretation of the Chinese dragon, which combines the bodily features of a fish, a turtle, and a snake and is an embodiment of the living force that moves bodies of water between heaven and the earth. Healing was created during the first lock-down of the pandemics in May 2020 and it carries the emotions of grief and despair, resembling the figuration of a lifeless body of water.

The artist draws a connection between the wounded water system on earth, which remains to be healed, and the darkness of ourselves that we have to face in solitary confinement. We are 99 percent water molecules. Or, in other words, 70% of the volume of our body is water. We are all bodies of water, thus what we do to our water, we do to ourselves. ‘The solution for the Sage who would transform the world lies in the water.’ said Guanzhong (720–645 BC), a Chinese philosopher and politician in the Spring and Autumn period, ‘Therefore when water is uncontaminated, men’s hearts are upright. When water is pure, the people’s hearts are at ease’.

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“Dreaming”

Dreaming is the second of the twin paintings from Charlotte’s collection on Dragon. The Dragon Series is a modern interpretation of the Chinese dragon, which combines the bodily features of a fish, a turtle, and a snake and is an embodiment of the living force that moves bodies of water between heaven and the earth. Dreaming was created during the first lock-down of the pandemics in May 2020 which in contrast to Healing, carries the emotions of love and hope. It resembles the renewal and rebirth of the aquatic ecosystem.               

Everything we think and feel is composed of perceptions. Our life as an individual and collective are moulded around beliefs that are constructed by our perceptions, called a paradigm. As a society, we have habituated to the apocalyptic futures; we are always preparing to go to heaven or Mars, leaving behind the mess of our current life. To create a new world, we must first create a new dream. This new dream will give birth to a new cultural perception of the human-nature relationship, where all life of the ecosystem is viewed as kin and one cannot live and flourish without another. Only from such a new dream, we can manifest a sustainable future.

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ELZED

CONTACT :
Instagram: @elzed1

[Sans titre]

Pour mon travail autour de la durabilité, j’ai décidé d’utiliser mes outils habituels pour le dessin mais avec une autre approche. En voulant redonner vie a mes feutres usés, j’ai ajouté de l’eau à faible quantité afin de diluer les couleurs et créer un paysage imaginaire.

Le procédé m’a beaucoup fait penser à de la peinture à l’aquarelle. J’ai également eu recours à l’argile et au collage pour une recherche de matière et de volume. J’ai également utilisé des néocolors pour certains détails.

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EMILIE BERTHOUZOZ

CONTACT :
Instagram: @ewilie_art

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LAURIE BUISSON

CONTACT :
e-mail : lauriebuisson65@gmail.com
Instagram: @LaurieB
https://www.saatchiart.com/jaellestrella

“Coexistence”

Cette oeuvre est entièrement constituée de fragments de magazines récupérés et recyclés, redonnant ainsi
une « vie » à ce papier destiné à être détruit.

La production de magazines est, à l’image globale de la société de consommation, un énorme gâchis et contribue à la destruction de notre environnement. Produits en masse, à peine 50% de ces magazines seront vendus pour être lus quelques minutes voire quelques heures avant de disparaître parmi les déchets. Utiliser le papier de magazine dans mes projets artistiques est pour moi le moyen de rendre hommage aux arbres et à l’énergie nécessaires à la fabrication de ces objets éphémères, leur donnant une vie qui pourra s’inscrire dans le temps et satisfaire le spectateur au quotidien pour une durée indéterminée.

Ce tableau en particulier met en avant mes préoccupations pour l’environnement et sa préservation. Il dépeint de nombreux animaux évoluant dans un décor végétal luxuriant. De différentes espèces, sauvages ou de compagnie, en voie d’extinction ou très communs, les animaux semblent cohabiter de façon naturelle et pacifique.

Au deuxième plan, des constructions urbaines, oeuvres de la main de l’Homme, sont comme « assiégées » par la présence de ces animaux jouant à cache-cache au sein de cette jungle urbaine. Leur habitat naturel diminuant de jour en jour, les animaux se voient contraints de vivre, ou plutôt survivre parmi les constructions humaines.

Ce tableau invite le spectateur à observer la beauté, la diversité, la force mais aussi la fragilité de la Nature et
de son équilibre. Il appelle à se questionner quant au rôle de l’Homme lors de son passage sur notre magnifique Planète afin que chaque créature puisse COEXISTER en Paix.

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STELLA

CONTACT :
Instagram: @stella.arte22
Email: stella.nushaba@gmail.com

“Fresh Kills, Psyché chamboulée”

Peurs, angoisse, tristesse, joie, mélancolie, sagesse…La pénombre qui est toujours ici et maintenant. La terre… le tuyau qui nous « nourrit », qui nous lie et qui nous tue. Sauvons-nous avant de sauver l’impossible.

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“Eau”

L’essence de la vie est jugée, qu’allons-nous devenir à travers notre être qui est la seule puissance physique, notre carapace. Allongée sur la plage…que va-t-elle devenir cette Eau ayant la force de la nature ? L’Eau suffoque et respire plus que ce qu’il se doit avec tous ces déchets et nous aussi sommes pris au piège. Va-t-on vraiment se laisser faire ?

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“Création. Naissance, embryon en pleine croissance”

Naissance, embryon en pleine croissance Il faut se battre… l’effervescence est là. C’est là nos premières impressions. Elles pétillent et nous font naître avec espoir. L’espoir intègre, innocent… notre pouls pulse pour aller de l’avant.

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VORLETTE FAKHRI

CONTACT:
Instagram: @vorlette_fk

“Top hand-made from a leftover climbing rope”

Passionate about outdoor sports and its textiles, I upcycle leftover materials from the outdoor sports industry. To make this top, I moved away from the traditional garment making method, that the anthropologist Tim Ingold (2011) calls ‘doing to’, which consists of imposing a predefined shape to a material. He argues for the use of an opposite method called ‘making’ which consists in revealing the shape inherent to a material instead of imposing a shape to it. This approach facilitate a zero waste production from already existing materials and is thus all the more relevant in times of environmental crisis. Willing to tackle environmental issues at my scale, I adopted the ‘making’ method. I separated the rope’s white core to its green sheath and did multiple knots and weaving samplings. I assembled these different shapes to make the final garment. In turn, the top is made of necklaces of unbraided rope’s core fringes. The fringes are knotted to the sheath that undulates in a reptilian movement on body. On the waist the fringes are randomly weaved into a belt made of sheaths.

Creating a bridge between two opposite domains, namely, outdoor climbing and couture, I show that creativity is a key tool to go beyond our cognitive inertia and elaborate original solutions to the environmental crisis.

Photos by Eugénie Senlis (@vikingonabike) and Anna Mangeot (@anna.mangeot)

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