July 31, 2021

How Can Art Schools Help Combat the Climate Crisis?

Ray Downie

Sound SculptureSoggy Sounds, 2021

My sound sculpture Soggy Sounds is part of my zero waste series of work I created for my degree show, graduating as a sculpture artist. I am very passionate about sustainability; I see the value and potential in materials around me that others would brand to be ‘junk’ and adopt a repair, reuse and recycle design process. This work represents my evolving practice as a sculpture artist with the ambition to resolve the effects that art making has in connection to the climate. Every element has been upcycled and it doesn’t require electricity – instead being powered by a natural water source (a river), physically connecting my creation to the world it strives to preserve. I think artists should consider the impact that their work has on the environment – from paper waste to resin creations which will inevitably end up in landfill – and helping to combat the climate crisis should be at the forefront of all art schools’ moral values. I would like to see art schools implement junk yards to teach renewability, promote repair culture and create a tactile buzz, inspiring all disciplines to help tackle the climate crisis.