Complacency

It’s the End of the World as We Know it (and I Feel Fine)

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace
It’s the End of the World as We Know it (and I Feel Fine) curated by Amy Lipton, opened on January 31st at Ramapo College Gallery in Mahwah NJ and will be on view through March 6th. The exhibition explores contemporary views of nature and habitat expressed through landscape painting and drawing. The artists included; George Boorujy, Adam Cvijanovic, Peter Edlund, Joy Garnett, Kimberley HartEve Andree Laramee, Sarah McCoubrey, Jason Middlebrook, Aviva Rahmani, Lisa Sanditz, Charlotte Schulz, Eva Struble, Sarah Trigg and Marion Wilson envision the natural world in relationship to pressing environmental issues.

Taken from a 1987 song by the band R.E.M., It’s the End of the World as We Know it (and I Feel Fine) this somewhat ironic title suggests the possibility that by avoiding complacency and with awareness, intelligence, compassion and activism, solutions to environmental problems will be found to avoid potentially catastrophic results. The works attempt to meet the challenges of the new ecological imperative by bringing attention to the viewer of the need for protection, preservation and action.  Artists often have a prophetic role and throughout history have alerted us to problems that are unforeseen or overlooked. Using realism, fantasy or process as a source for imagination and transformation, they seek to create an awareness of loss and beauty in the marginal, the overused and the threatened.

Images of the exhibition taken by Joy Garnett can be seen HERE.

ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

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What if?… James Lovelock and the five in six

This week James Lovelock was in conversation with the journalist and writer Tim Radford in front of a packed audience at the RSA. His latest book The Vanishing Face of Gaia is currently 22 on Amazon – a remarkable achievement for a book which is not exactly a laugh a page.

In fact both James and Tim were full of humour at the RSA event, so it’s a moment before some of the facts sink in. People next to me suck in their breath at Jim’s prediction of one billion people on earth by the end of the century. We are around six billion at the moment. I join the breath suckers. Five in six of us. I’m pretty sure I heard him say that India will pretty much be gone entirely. If he’s right.

If he’s right – this is left hanging in the air and hanging in the balance.

Today a headline in The Guardian reads “Obama pulls back on early climate change legislation”. I see this just as I’m trying to write a positive statement for the Business Council for Sustainable Development, ten years focusing on the practical implementation of sustainable development values. There’s so much progress that has been made and now is the time to build on that, rather than gloom up on the worst case scenario. But nor should we forget it. Just as apathy had terrible consequences for so many in the Second World War, so could complacency in the face of this century’s challenges.

Note to self, get on WattzOn.com and see how you’re shaping up Crimmin before tub thumping any further.

Photo: Gansu Province, China, 2007 by Susannah Sayler, used courtesy of The Canary Project. Photo taken following the 2006 drought, China’s worst in 50 years. This is the former site of Qin Tu Hu Lake.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology Blog