With hard-hitting discussions of the climate crisis increasingly dominating our headlines, it’s not just politicians that are doing their part to protect our planet. On the other end of the spectrum, artists are working just as hard to make environmentalism a priority, evoking change and documenting the beauty of the natural world. 

Everyone is responsible for creating a more environmentally sustainable world. And the arts are no exception. Whether capturing the moments where we are positively impacting our planet or reminding us of the devastation humans can leave in their wake, art can challenge, inform, and engage audiences with the natural world. 

Here we have rounded up five famous works of eco-art that will make you stop, think, and hopefully act. 

Your Waste of Time - Olafur Eliasson 

 

 
 
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Olafur Eliasson’s immersive installation presents giant blocks of ice broken off from Iceland’s largest glacier, Vatnajokull. The oldest piece is estimated to originate some 800 years ago, around AD 1200. In this work, Eliasson hopes to make tangible a history that extends beyond the human life span, putting human’s physical experience in perspective. 

One Beat One Tree - Naziha Mestaoui

Naziha Mestaoui’s virtual artwork projects virtual forests onto city spaces, blurring the boundaries between nature and technology. Each viewer is connected to a heartbeat sensor via their smartphone, allowing the virtual greenery to bloom to the rhythm of their heartbeat. The digital trees were later physically planted throughout the world. 

Black Maps - David Maisel

 
 
 
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Through aerial photography, David Maisel’s series Black Maps explores sites that have been irrevocably transformed by open-pit mining. Current mining techniques carve out entire mountains, utilizing tons of toxic chemicals at massive industrial sites. Maisel’s photographs aim to visualize the complex relationship between humanity and the earth, highlighting our complicity in these damaged landscapes.  

Harvest Dome - Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi 

 
 
 
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Architects Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi prove that the world’s garbage can be reused in many unexpected and delightful ways with their ‘Harvest Dome 2.0’. Assembled from 450 storm-snapped umbrellas and 128 plastic bottles, the ‘performance architecture’ piece once floated around the inlet of Inwood Hill Park in New York City, calling attention to the city’s waterways.

Can you photograph a moment where we positively impact our planet? Check out our brief in partnership with Reckitt here