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February 28, 2021

Role of art in conservation, environmental protection

Islamabad

February 28, 2021

Islamabad: Art of all forms can move individuals, awaken imaginations and raise a unique awareness of the omnipresent issues our world is confronting. An image speaks a thousand words, let us analyse how these light the kindle of awareness in the mind of individuals.

If you want to find art that can create awareness, just look at the branch that is often left overlooked. Ecological art is a term used to portray the joining of nature in art and more recently, it has turned into a type of art being utilized as a driving force to empower political and environmental developments. Ecological art is far from a new concept; however, it is only recently that it has occurred to artists and environmentalists alike that art is an instrument for both community involvement as well as awareness, amongst other motives. The world is currently almost one degree hotter than it was before industrialization as per the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and, in an article composed by the BBC in April 2019, it was revealed that the world is not on track to meet its environmental change targets.

In such a time of despair, the world needs more than just science and logic to reach out to the hearts of the general population. My conviction is that when individuals represent the earth, it is a direct result of the passionate association they have with the earth. This connection can be portrayed on a canvas through art, a universal language.

Art can energize human compassion in a way unlike any other. The creative sector, in my humble opinion, is an ecology. It engages with all of us as a whole and as the climate change movement suffers from enervation and despair, it gives us hope that better times are right around the corner. I believe that this growth in artistic awareness will inspire a new generation of environmental activists, who understand environmentalist issues with a deeper conviction than we could. Long gone are the days where words printed on a textbook had desired effect. This digital age demands visuals and that is what art can give them. Often, the challenge in getting such messages across is that people are overrun by different messages daily. I believe that art acts as a vessel of providing a message that stands out, that can reach out to people.

Art puts forward not only an aesthetic display but also links emotions to what is being interpreted through one’s sight. Each work of art can be interpreted differently by different people; this gives each piece a different message, a message of awareness and the importance of nature. Every stroke, every splotch of paint can convey a message of pain or a cry of help, in a way the viewer wishes to see it. As American journalist Richard Heinsberg once wrote, “As we move closer to what surely will be unprecedented ecological, economic and social disruption, meaningful art can and must express the turmoil we encounter and help us process it intellectually and emotionally.”

I believe that art can establish impactful movements and become the catalyst for environmental protection that we are so desperately looking for. Time is running out but it is still not too late. Come let us use our art, our brushes, and our paints to preserve the very colours we throw on the canvas. Let us portray the beauty of nature (and thus the need to save it) through our art, or else all we will have to draw will be smoke and ash.