‘Art has the power to catalyze powerful movements.’ Lindsy Halleckson
As we move closer to effects of climate change and environmental degradation, meaningful art can and must express the turmoil we encounter and help us process it intellectually and emotionally. ‘As climate changes we need the arts more than ever.’ Richard Heinberg
Artists have the opportunity and duty to translate the human experience into words, images, and music that help people not just to understand these events mentally, but also to come to grips with them viscerally. Art helps us cope with the implications of our challenges. It can help prepare the society for a possibly traumatic future. It can give a voice to pain and loss, helping people deal with life’s inevitable misfortunes by offering beauty and a calm feeling, which are especially important in hard times.”
Art is more than a coping mechanism or an escape, it is healing and can help us reach deeper understanding of environmental issues through different and multidisciplinary approaches.
Artists have the gifts to see the world in a way most people don’t, they are able to document what they see and how they feel about it:- they influence culture and mindsets. With passion and feeling they are able to educate us in ways that reach the core of our understanding as they make us relate and reflect.
Art also changes how a lot of people think and feel about different things. Their efforts can shape the terms by which society adapts to transformations and their consequences which is a big deal. Stories of the environment have to be told passionately for the society to understand and change mindsets. Art can be a voice to pain and loss, helping people deal with life’s inevitable misfortunes and it can offer beauty, a calming effect which can be especially important in hard times.
When the titanic was sinking, a band was playing_ “Gentlemen, it has been a privilege playing with you tonight.” the band leader said. Perhaps showing that despite the ship sinking_ the artists would go ahead playing, lifting the spirits of fellow passengers. On its own terms that was an honorable contribution, but surely artists can do more.
Of course, to be good, art has to succeed in terms of structure, skill, insight and originality; the artists have to be knowledgeable about the topics as well. Bad art with a valid social message is still bad art, artists need to dig deeper, observe more closely and help their audiences connect to abstract explanations and forecasts with concrete experiences.