Eco-art is getting bigger and bigger and is moving “beyond the medium into the message” by highlighting environmental problems, green lifestyles and planet friendly thinking. This year the Barbican is hosting a new exhibition Radical Nature, Art and Architecture for a Changing Planet where artists like the Ant Farm Collective, Joseph Bueys and Richard Buckminster Fuller will be exhibiting along with 50 live events. At the Tate Britain over 80 works from Richard Long will be on show from June 3rd. Kate Muir, writing in the Times Review (23rd May), says “expect not merely a trend but a whole new wave: eco-art will be huge this summer” and points out the work of two Brighton based eco-artists, Lou McCurdy and Chloe Hanks, whose Dirty Beach exhibition highlights the pollution on Brighton beach and around Britain’s coast – there are 2,195 pieces of rubbish per kilometre on Britain’s beaches. Similarly in the USA, Seattle based artist Chris Jordan uses his 2007 picture ‘Plastic Bottles’ to represent the two million plastic bottles used in the USA every five minutes. Artists have been re-using materials they have salvaged for a long long time but our own favourite is another south coast artist, Seaford based Jo Allen who exhibited at the Waveform Festival last year and works with AGreenerFestival. Jo salvages all of her materials from the flotsam and jetsom that washes up on Seaford’s beach and creates mesmerising sculptures with nautical themes. Jo has recently been exhibiting as part of the Seven Sisters Women’s Art Collective in Brighton. Jo’s website is at http://www.jo2jo.co.uk/J1/index.html where her poetry can be found too.
Pictures (c) Jo Allen 2008