Take a look at the work of artists who explore the environment as a subject. From our natural surroundings to the issues that influence our ability to coexist on this planet

Defining Environment 
The environment is something we are very familiar with. It's everything that makes up our surroundings and affects our ability to live on the earth - the air we breathe, the water that covers most of the earth's surface, the plants and animals around us, and much more.  
Although the environmental movement can trace its origins to the industrial revolution of the 19th century, it was really from the 1960s that the environmental movement gathered momentum as part of a dramatic groundswell of activism related to the issues of human rights.  Environmentalists advocate the sustainable management of resources and stewardship of the environment through changes in public policy and individual behavior.  In its recognition of humanity as a participant in (not enemy of) ecosystems, the movement is centered on ecology, health, and human rights.
Our relationship to our environment, especially to nature, has provided rich subject matter for contemporary artists ranging from politically engaged practices to more poetic reflections on our surroundings.  
Art and Environmentalism 
Gustav Metzger was born of Polish-Jewish parents in Nuremberg, Germany and brought to England as a child refugee in 1939. For over 50 years, Metzger created art that protested against the destructive effects of globalised capitalism on the environment, amongst other causes.  In the face of this reality, Metzger's response was to devise work that had auto-destruction or auto-creation as the creative principle, so called Auto-Destructive Art of which he was the founder. 

Otobong Nkanga explores the environment of her native Nigeria. She creates landscapes with clean, hard-edged lines that address the political and ecological impacts of Nigeria's oil industry.

Helen Chadwick's 'Viral Landscapes' was a personal and passionate response to the coastal landscape of Pembrokeshire, set in the context of a growing concern about ecological pollution.

Back to nature 
Many contemporary artists adapt forms of nature and use elements and materials from the natural world directly in their work. 

Richard Long's practice - ranging across land based natural sculpture, photography and text - is a direct response to the environments he has walked over, opening a heightened space for reflection.

Hannah Rickards explores the elusive landscape of perception and language, meticulously examining and deconstructing natural phenomena such as thunder, to investigate the nature of cognition.

Credits: Story

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