Today’s Solutions: January 25, 2022

Many of us are already aware that we are facing a human-induced climate crisis that puts our world in a precarious position. However, presenting the problem with dry facts, pages of research, and endless spreadsheets and charts fails to stir our souls into action.

That’s where art comes into play—it invokes an emotional response in us that tugs on our heartstrings and inspires us to change our lives to protect what we stand to lose. This was Clare Celeste’s motivation to create her intricate artwork that highlights the precious biodiversity of the planet. She uses paper that is delicately cut and assembled by hand to make dynamic and colorful scenes featuring flora and fauna. Her art takes the form of collages that are suspended in the air, folded, or pressed between glass.

Celeste, who grew up in Brazil, says that her art is greatly influenced by her formative childhood memories of vibrant and tropical ecosystems that were slowly being deteriorated by the expansion of urban developments.

This perilous balance between human industry and the natural world is reflected in her 3D art installations, which are often made up of fragile cut-outs that dangle from the ceiling as an evanescent reminder of what could be lost.

Celeste gets the material that she uses from vintage photographs taken from open-source archives, both online and from books, in addition to her own photography. The inclusion of the vintage photos gives her art the sad tone of a memorial, because “many of the species in the vintage illustrations had already gone extinct. Humanity has wiped out 68 percent of all our planet’s biodiversity since 1970, so working with vintage illustrations can be very heartbreaking,” she says.

Celeste’s paper art pieces focus on the natural, however, some of her art also features plexiglass work with more geometric patterns that are meant to represent the architectural or human-made elements. “Having grown up in Brazil, I was surrounded by dense urban spaces that often had rich jungle growth just wanting to break through the concrete architecture,” she explains. The inter-weaving of angular geometric patterns and nature shows that “so much more… could be done to integrate the local biodiversity and urban planning.”

Overall, Celeste hopes that her art will not only be “a reflection of [her] love of nature,” but will awaken that love in others. Through her art, she wills the rest of the world to “go back to our love: our love of nature, of humanity, of our children, of future generations. Because when we love something deeply, we are compelled to act—to save it when it is threatened.”

Image Source: Clare Celeste Copyright

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