Sustainable Art

Sustainable Art

What is Sustainable Art?

Sustainable art encompasses a wide range of artistic concepts, everything from thought-provoking environmental critique to studios working with carbon neutral or green footprint objectives. Additionally, using reclaimed materials, eco-friendly methodologies, and restorative practices. The artists below delve into this realm of sustainable, conceptual, eco-art.


Contemporary Artists

Tan Zi Xi

@MessyMsXi (Tan Zi Xi) used over 20,000 pieces of single-use plastic waste to create “Plastic Ocean”. Tan displayed her first installation in 2015, at the Singapore Art Museum.  In 2017, Tan recreated her second installation, in Mumbai at the Sassoon Dock Art Project, using 400kg of cleaned plastic waste. Plastic Ocean speaks to our consumer culture. It demonstrates what life is like for marine animals surrounded by plastic debris.


Bounpaul Phothyzan

“Lie of Land” by Bounpaul Phothyzan was displayed at the Singapore Art Museum in 2017. Invoking the beauty of peace via a planter which appears innocent at first glance, however, on closer inspection, lush green ferns grow in aluminium bombshells. Bounpaul’s home country, Laos, is the most heavily bombed country per capita, with thousands of undetonated bombs scattered across its land causing casualties every year. The excavated bombshells used were emptied of toxic content. This piece delves into survival, war, deforestation and the resilience of the human spirit. Furthermore, the horrors that lay beneath the surface of tranquil green fields and the beauty of the countryside.


Andy Goldsworthy

Nature and Andy Goldsworthy collaborate to create site-specific installations that incorporate leaves, icicles, sticks, stones and various other natural materials. Renowned for his transient and fragile concepts, Andy creates personal and private art in public places. “Hanging Trees” speaks to the relationship between the human body and the landscape. This work has powerful implications of burial chambers, local history and archaeology.

Jaynie Crimmins

By repurposing envelopes, catalogues and shredded paper. Jaynie Crimmins produces intricate 3D pieces via various techniques including folding, rolling and sewing. Jaynie’s work discusses personal and cultural narratives using deconstructed consumer waste.

Agnes Denes

“Tree Mountain” by Agnes Denes comprises 11,000 trees planted by 11,000 people from around the world, creating a human-made forest at Pinzio gravel pits near Ylojarvi, Finland. This artwork took 12 years from initial conception to completion in 1996. Agnes planned each tree on this remediation forest using an intricate mathematical pattern related to the golden ratio.  Agnes maintains the land and the Finnish Ministry of the Environment has a 400-year protection order on this site.

To sum up, sustainable art has no boundaries.  The 5 artists discussed in this post use different media and techniques to explore environmental and social issues, further highlighting our diverse relationships and interactions with the natural world.

Feature Image:

top articles Sustainable art
Lie of Land by Bounpaul Phothyzan. Image: Mildred Williams | Viable AlternativEnergy


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