In the face of sobering environmental events that highlight both the majesty and fragility of nature, we’ve gathered both artworks and comments from our artists for whom natural elements, environmentalism and climate change act as central themes.
These themes have carried particular pertinence over the past year, with the Amazon rainforest and a huge portion of Australia being battered by dangerous fires. Perhaps more than ever, and with the help of influential figures such as Greta Thunberg, environmental issues are leaping to the forefront of politics, media and even art. Here are 8 Singulart artists whose work has something to say:
1.) Manuela Rathje
Manuela Rathje is an experienced artist from Germany whose paintings have been featured in solo and group exhibitions internationally. After practicing drawing for awhile, Rathje decided to become a painter, focusing on portraits of both people and animals in bright color palettes. One of her favorite subjects is painting the wild animals. On the one hand to draw attention to the protection of the species and the preservation of the animals, but also because she often feels a special connection to her counterpart while painting.
“Nature and the environment, people and animals are thematically important to me! We only live on this planet as visitors and therefore I think we should do everything we can to ensure that future generations can continue to exist. I want to move people with my pictures, even shake them up.”
2.) Orlanda Broom
Orlanda Broom is an accomplished British artist who composes works that represent a fantastical view of the natural world and entice the viewer into both beauty and darkness. She simultaneously showcases the timelessness of nature alongside the human impacts that threaten its purity. Hear it from Broom herself:
“My landscapes tap into a fundamental love and appreciation of nature. They celebrate its beauty but seek to engage with our ever increasing loss of wild places.”
3.) Siegbert Hahn
Siegbert Hahn is an experienced German artist whose works have featured in exhibitions, public and private collections nationally. With his central theme as nature in all its utterances, he paints representational, fantastical figures in oil on wood or canvas. Each of Hahn’s pieces showcase an unmistakable artistic signature, technical expertise and a touch of intriguing unfamiliarity.
“The environmental images were created beginning in the 1960s, when there was still no awareness of this problem in the general public. At that time, the art scene experienced the Informel and its offshoot, indulged in consumerist pop culture and celebrated happy happenings.”
4.) Peter Finnemore
Peter Finnemore is a Welsh photographer whose work, in part, investigates both conscious and unconscious links to a wider cultural and universal inheritance. His ‘Zen Gardener’ series, undertaken in desert areas of Zaragoza, Spain, relates to the politics of water, water shortage and climate change. According to Finnemore, “The performed character is an amalgamation of Don Quixote and the Celtic motif of the ‘Green Man.'”
5.) Ann R
“I’m very sensitive to the degradation of our environment, so my approach is not head-on and leaves plenty of room for humor and tenderness.”
Ann R‘s somewhat whimsical portrayal of the habitat in which animals live craftily swifts between subtle and uncompromising. Through her work, we can see the innocence of the animals most at harm by environmental damage. With images of a panda unmoved by the plastic bag draped across its head and a polar bear wearing a life jacket to survive amid melting ice caps, these artworks pack a satirical punch.
6.) Monika Lehmann
Monika Lehmann‘s paintings have been exhibited throughout Germany and Austria. Lehmann focuses mainly on people and landscapes, transforming the reality that is seen into her own emotional truth. After several sketches on paper, she then paints with acrylics, inks, stains, pigments and secrets. Her paintings are created in several layers that merge with and over each other.
“In the time of climate change, global warming, natural disasters with floods on the one hand and extreme storms and drought on the other, it is a special challenge for me as an artist to depict the melting of the glaciers and the resulting changes in our nature in a painterly way.”
7.) Paul Bulteel
Paul Bulteel is a Belgian photographer whose work explores the often complex relationship between man and his environment. Bulteel’s images have a distinct and decisive visual language -strong compositions combined with subtle and refined details. Bulteel takes on the more static role of observer, his style is restrained and allows the camera to document the reality unfolding before the lens.
“Instead of the usual approach to focus on the ugliness of waste I highlight the strange, unreal beauty of recycled or to be recycled materials.”
8.) Anett Münnich
“Nature is a precious space that always allows for discovering something new and reinterpreting memories.”
A deep love for the forest drives German painter Anett Münnich‘s work. Fascinated by organic structures, she examines traces of civilization on 500-year-old trees to analyze the relationship between man and nature. Münnich infuses her paintings with her own observations and memories of nature, and compresses fine lines and surfaces into chaos that eventually appear as trees and landscapes.
To continue contemplating the natural world and its many manifestations in art, take a look at our carefully curated The Environment and Art collection.
Cover Image: ‘Wald 03’ (2017( by Jürgen Bartenschlager