Art and Climate Change

By Maja and Reuben Fowkes
Published by Thames & Hudson, April 2022

Art and Climate Change collects a wide range of artistic responses to our current ecological emergency. When the future of life on Earth is threatened, creative production for its own sake is not enough. Through contemporary artworks, artists are calling for an active, collective engagement with the planet in order to illuminate some of the structures that threaten biological survival. Exploring the meeting point of decolonial reparation and ecological restoration, artists are remaking history by drawing on the latest ecological theories, scientific achievements, and indigenous worldviews to engage with the climate crisis. Across five chapters, authors Maja and Reuben Fowkes examine these artworks that respond to the Anthropocene and its detrimental impact on the planet’s climate, from scenes of nature decimated by ongoing extinction events and landscapes turned to waste by extraction, to art coming out of the communities most affected by the environmental injustice of climate change. Featuring a broad range of media, including painting, photography, conceptual, installation, and performance, this text also dives into eco-conscious art practices that have created a new kind of artistic community by stressing a common mission for creators all over the world. In this art history, the authors emphasize the importance of caring for and listening to marginalized and indigenous communities while addressing climate uncertainty, deforestation, toxicity, and species extinction. By proposing scenarios for sustainable futures, today’s artists are reshaping our planet’s history, as documented in this heavily illustrated book.

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