So what exactly is eco-art? The answer is , it is ecological art with a purpose, which is created by artists who are concerned with the state of both local and global environmental situations. The word “eco” is Greek in origin, and means “home”, and of course, the word “art” is self-explanatory.
Eco-art concerns itself with ecological activism and the highlighting of issues, whereas art in nature and land art are similar in ways, but are less about activism. Land art tends to involve conceptual issues, while art in nature uses natural found materials to create beautiful pieces.
Photography and paintings that address environmental problems are also part of the eco-art movement.
Eco-artists are concerned about the environment. As such, they often create art that improves an area environmentally and/or that highlights a specific environmental issue. It must also be noted that eco-art addresses aesthetics, ethics, politics, culture, and economics, and the impact these have on the world’s ecosystems. With climate change currently growing at an alarming rate, the field of ecological art is expanding rapidly.
The main principles of eco-art are:
To re-envision our relationship with nature, and put forward new ways to co-exist with the environment.
Be concerned with environmental materials and forces, thus creating art that works with natural forces, such as lightning, water, wind, and even earthquakes.
To remediate and reclaim damaged natural environments, often restoring ecosystems in artistic ways.
To create art which informs the viewer of environmental issues, politics, culture, the historical aspects of eco-systems, nature, and its processes.
To create works that use natural materials.
To inform the public about environmental problems and ecological dynamics.
To creatively propose new ways for sustainability, healing, and coexistence.
Eco-friendly art works on improving our relationship with the natural world. Much of the art is collaborative – involving input from artists, scientists, community groups, and educators. Many eco art works are site-specific. Some eco art is also ephemeral, which means that it transforms or disappears as the environment changes. Other pieces are designed to be sited in a specific place.
There are numerous and diverse approaches involved in ecological art, these include:
Activist projects. These are created to energize, inform, engage, and activate change in public policy or behaviors.
Remediation projects. Artists often work with urban planner, environmental scientists, and landscape architects to restore or reclaim disrupted and polluted environments.
Representational artwork. This involves creating art that reveals conditions and information which stimulates dialog.
Social sculptures. These are time-based and socially engaged art works that actively involve communities to participate in monitoring their own landscapes and utilizing sustainable practices.
Direct encounter. Involves utilizing sunlight, plants, and other natural phenomena.
Ecopoetic art. This re-envisions the natural world, encouraging and inspiring coexistence with other species.
Lived-and-relational esthetics. Related to off-the-grid, sustainable, permaculture existences.
Pedagogical or didactic works. Inform the viewer of ecological problems and environmental injustice.
These programme intent to promote cross-cultural discourse and interactions to expand cultural boundaries and beneficial to artist community.