When people think of art, they think of bizzare creations and beautiful intricate paintings hung up in museums. Essentially, the process of bringing an artwork to life is a creative one but art itself can also serve a purpose. It can be used as a way to raise awareness about issues that affect us in our daily lives.
In this instance, we’ll explore the creative innovations of artists who create their art not just for the sake of it but to get their message out to a global audience. Let’s take a look at these 20 creative ways art can be utilized to create public awareness. Maybe they’ll even inspire you to spread your own message.
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Ice Books. Basia Irland is an artist and naturalist that works closely with water, especially rivers. Her Ice Books project uses river water to form books made of ice which contains seeds. The seeds within the books helps the river in many ways such as by slowing down the erosion of the river bank. It then slowly melts away to represent the effects of climate change and the thinning of ice due to the activities of humans. (Image Source: basiairland.com)
Red Polar Bear. Bjargey Ólafsdóttir is a visual artist, writer and director from Reykjavík, Iceland. The Red Polar Bear is one of the 350 EARTH art projects that focuses on motivating people to think about their environment and how they can get involved in making it better. The Red Polar Bear was made out of organic red coloring to show how polar bears are in danger because of climate change. (Image Source: flickr.com)
Waiting for the Climate Change. Isaac Cordal is a Spanish street artist that creates sculptures of little men dressed in grey business suits and installs them in unusual places. ‘Waiting for the Climate Change’ is one of his series that features 14 life-sized sculptures of these everymen submerged in water. His artwork is a critique of modern society’s view regarding climate change. (Image Source: cementeclipses.com)
Running the Numbers II. Chris Jordan is a digital photographic artist. The piece below entitled ‘Whale’ does looks like one from a distance but upon closer inspection you’ll find that it’s actually created digitally from 50,000 plastic bags that represent the number of floating plastic found in the world’s ocean. This is just one of the examples in his series that portrays the massive consumption of human culture. (Image Source: chrisriedy.me)
Selfridges’ Ocean Project. Helena Maratheftis is an artist, designer and illustrator who uses recycled plastic to create sea creature sculptures. She does this to draw attention to the dangers of polluting the oceans with plastic, as sea animals like turtles, often die from eating plastic debris. The plastic sculpture of a life-sized turtle featured here is a testament to that. (Image Source: helenamaratheftis.com)
Stories From The Changing Tide. As part of his time as a student artist in residence at Recology, San Francisco, Ethan Estess used recycled materials to create sculptures showcasing marine environmental problems. He wanted to show the world how the excessive consumption of materials by human beings is hurting the ocean. He used 8,000 coffee cup lids to create the incredible backpack that you see below. (Image Source: flickr.com)
Washed Ashore. Angela Haseltine Pozzi is an artist and educator who founded the Washed Ashore Project. The project is aimed at educating people about the huge amount of plastic debris that’s found within our ocean and waterways. SeaWorld Parks uses the sculptures of sea life such as fishes and turtles, made out of recycled marine debris, to create public awareness. (Image Source: washedashore.org)
Fumo. Created by the Ioglo design agency, Fumo is a fun interactive smoking pole for proper disposal of their cigarette butts. Instead of choosing a grim way to raise awareness, the creators decided on a different approach. The Fumo entertains the smokers through the use of music and LED lights when they get rid of their cigarettes in it properly. (Image Source: ioglo.com)
1000 Surfboard Graveyard. Chris Anderson is a graphic design student from Australia. His project consists of 1000 surfboards that are either old or damaged. The purpose of this Surfboard Graveyard is to encourage the public to reflect on issues concerning landfill as a graveyard for material goods, with surfboards being merely one of them. (Image Source: facebook.com)
SodaStream Campaign. Sarah Turner is an eco-artist and designer that mainly creates artwork from discarded plastic bottles. For the Soda Stream Campaign which promotes the message of ‘A World Without Bottles’, model Erin O’Connor is depicted posing in the iconic style of the Greek God Atlas. The sphere that she holds on her shoulders, which uses 562 plastic bottles, is a reminder of just how heavy the burden of waste consumption is on the world. (Image Source: sarahturner.co.uk)
Labyrinth of Plastic Waste. Luzinterruptus is an anonymous collective of artists. Made of over 6,000 water bottles, this particular one in Poland is meant to highlight the plastic waste generated on a daily basis. The locals can also take part by bringing their own plastic waste and the maze provides people with a fun but enlightening experience. (Image Source: luzinterruptus.com)
Once Upon a Plastic Bag. Aida Sulova is a street artist who started a campaign in order to remind people to dispose of their waste properly. The anti-plastic campaign is based in Kyrgyzstan and uses her art to convey this message. Using the garbage bin as her canvas, the large photograph of a man becomes a symbol of how the waste will eventually come back into our lives and affect us. (Image Source: sulova.com)
7 Days of Garbage. Gregg Segal is a Californian photographer. His series captures various Americans lying in one week’s worth of their own trash. His portraits which features subjects from different backgrounds, is meant to be an eye opener regarding their excess consumption. (Image Source: adweek.com)
The Tackle of The Tentacle. The Miha Artnak is an artist and freelance designer that strongly believes in Utopia as an ideal guide for the evolution of humankind. His project uses plastic bags and cups to create a giant monster with tentacles. It amplifies the dangers of discarded plastic on our environment. The more plastic you use, the bigger the monster gtes. (Image Source: The artnak.net)
Chroma Paintings. John Sabraw is an artist and professor that fuses Science and Art together to create a unique artwork. His paintings use toxic substances to emphasize the effects of coal mining pollution. He extracts the toxic sludge from polluted rivers and turns it into amazing artworks. (Image Source: smithsonianmag.com)
The Blue Trees. Konstantin Dimopoulus is an abstract artist that creates social and ecological statements of art. The artist uses paint to color the trees blue as a way of promoting awareness about global deforestation to the public. The Blue Trees provokes the public into thinking about the importance of trees by portraying a surreal piece of nature. (Image Source: kondimopoulos.com)
Frozen Trees. LIKEarchitects, an architecture studio, created Frozen Tree using 2,400 IKEA plastic bag dispensers. There are 30 cylindrical structures, which made up this temporary Christmas light display that was located in Lisbon in 2011. The studio promotes environmental awareness and recycling through art. (Image Source: likearchitects.net)
March for Elephants. Asher Jay is an environmental artist committed to the cause of animal rights. The March for Elephants billboard project uses real hands to create the shape of an elephant as a way of bringing attention to the travesties of the poaching as well as the ivory trade. This shows that a simple helping hand can go a long way. (Image Source: theelepehantintimessquare.org)
Underwater Sculptures. Mathieu Goussin and Hortense LeCalvez of Forlane 6 Studio are two scuba diving artists that work with discarded materials by creating submerged sculptures and installations out of them. They created underwater sculptures using human’s daily waste such as clothes, streamers and furniture. Their art is a response to not only excess consumption but also towards climate change. (Image Source: fastcocreate.com)
Water Carrier. French artist, Elise Morin, turned 5,000 test tubes filled with colorful (but safe) substances into illuminated sculptures. Elise Morin and her team drained the artificial river before installing her structures. She uses Water Carrier to educate people about the waterway. (Image Source: elise-morin.com)
Editor’s note: This post is written by Gina Mark for Hongkiat.com. She likes to read, is interested in indie bands and loves to eat and travel.