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Nordic Ecolabelling launches a sustainability art competition — entitled ‘Nordic Art Insight’ — because they believe that artists are a key group in the process of changing attitudes. The main prize is 100,000 Swedish kroner.
‘Nordic Art Insight’ invites artists from the Nordic region to submit their artworks with the theme‘Sustainable Consumption’ before 31 May.
An expert jury will then select six finalist entries, which will be publicized on www.artnordic.org. From 1 July to 31 August 2013, a public voting opens and the artwork that receives the most votes will be the winner.
Why is Nordic Ecolabelling organizing Nordic Art Insight?
“Artists have throughout hundreds of years made society look with new perspectives on how we live our lives, and challenged us to open our eyes to new ideas. The environmental challenges that face us today are many. One of these is sustainable consumption, and how we can reach climate and environmental goals. Often it is a question of buying the right products, and doing it the right amount of times, or perhaps, not buying at all. The Nordic Ecolabelling Art prize, Nordic Art Insight, will inspire artists to submit entries that help us consumers raise our consciousness about how we can live a more sustainable life with a sustainable consumption,” explains Nordic Ecolabelling on the competition’s home page.
Who is behind this competition?
‘Nordic Art Insight’ is organised by Nordic Ecolabelling. Nordic Ecolabelling was initiated by the Nordic Council of Ministers in 1989. Each Nordic country has a secretariat that develops Nordic Ecolabelling criteria, licenses and markets the Nordic Ecolabel. In Sweden the secretariat is Ecolabelling Sweden.
Ecolabelling Sweden works on consignment of the Swedish government to administer and market the Nordic Ecolabel and the EU Ecolabel. The purpose is to work for a sustainable consumption and production. Both these Ecolabels have a life-cycle perspective, and today there are 8,500 Nordic Ecolabelled products and services in the Swedish market.
Read more about Nordic Ecolabelling on svanen.se
Challenging the artist
17 March 2013
Why is the Nordic Ecolabel challenging the art world? Interview with CEO Ragnar Unge at Ecolabelling Sweden, chairman of the jury.
For the first time ever in its over 20 year history, the Nordic Ecolabel initiates an art prize. Why?
– We believe that artwork can make a change in people’s mind and behaviour. Artists have always been engaged in debates. Look at Picasso’s famous painting ‘Guernica’ about the Spanish civil war. It made a great impact.
What is the theme of this competition?
– Sustainable consumption. We are looking for artwork that can make people react and give insights on how we can use our planet´s resources in a more sustainable way.
How do you explain sustainable consumption, is it just buying Ecolabelled products?
Yes of course you have to buy the right thing, such as Ecolabelled products and services. But it is also a matter of how many times you buy a product. If you throw out your Ecolabelled couch after two years, this is not a sustainable way of consuming
What is the most important thing in this competition, the artistic expression of sustainable consumption or how the artwork is made? Can the artist use whatever material even if it is not good for the environment?
– The artistic impression is the most important but of course it has to have a connection to sustainable consumption. We also consider what materials the artist is using. Where do the materials come from? What type of paints are used? How will it be possible to recycle? Re-use? Nordic Ecolabel has a lifecycle perspective, and we would like to see this applied in the art process.
So if an artist uses a piece of lead, will it be disqualifying?
It depends how the artwork is presented. If the artist can give a good reason for using this material, for example, as a statement to show how this material threatens our ecological system and is a hinder for sustainable consumption, we might consider it as an important part of what the artwork is trying to convey.
Submission deadline: 31 May 2013
• Competition guidelines
• Facebook page
Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.
The Cultural sector that we refer to is an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-genre collaboration, which encompasses policy-making, intercultural dialogue/cultural relations, creative cities/cultural planning, creative industries and research and development. It is those decision-makers and practitioners who can reach people in a direct way, through diverse messages and mediums.
Affecting the thinking and behaviour of people and communities is about the dissemination of stories which will profoundly impact cultural values, beliefs and thereby actions. The stories can open people’s eyes to a way of thinking that has not been considered before, challenge a preconceived notion of the past, or a vision of the future that had not been envisioned as possible. As a sector which is viewed as imbued with creativity and cultural values, rather than purely financial motivations, the cultural sector’s stories maintain the trust of people and society.
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