About the Project
These posters came from a university brief aligning with my own interests and activism. Stories of biodiversity often include warnings of ecosystem destruction, for children who bear no responsibility and have never known a stable climate. I focused on the emotive relationship between storytelling and the parental desire to protect, hoping to spark engagement in the campaign run by Stop Ecocide.
This project was in response to a University brief, which encouraged us to make a series of posters under the title of Sustainability. This, alongside my knowledge of current environmental movements and campaigns drew me to the work of Stop Ecocide, an organisation campaigning to protect ecosystems and biodiversity by law. This solutions based approach to the Climate Crisis gives so much hope, and I wanted to create a poster series which engaged emotionally with people.
I did a large body of research, looking at previous advertising campaigns from various Environmental and Social charities. I then began to look more closely at the work of Stop Ecocide, and looked closely into their outreach and message, trying to bring my imagery across in a human and relatable way.
I used recycled books and paper-cut as the media, creating four different scenes from four ecosystems. I then distorted each scene with an intrusive and damaging physical element: plastic, melting ice (which involved freezing the book), fire (setting it alight) and oil, to represent the destruction of each ecosystem. I then photographed on my phone, and edited using Photoshop.
I had to do a large amount of physical research with my chosen media of Papercut, for each poster there was a different challenge, this ranged from working out how to suspend a book in a Tupperware and balance it in the freezer, to experimenting with dribbling Molasses (to represent oil) in a believable way.
I had to work in a very different way with this project, playing with my materials in a very physical and destructive way: juggling clamps, freezers, flames etc with paper, a very thin and fragile material, did come with its challenges! The most difficult moment came when I needed to burn the Forest Fire scene, as I had previously experimented burning the paper, I knew that it smoulders rather than creates the rich flames that I wanted. After a long time experimenting, I found the solution to be sitting the book scene on a baking tray and lighting a line of burning bamboo scourers behind the book to give the illusion it was on fire!
I learnt a huge amount from this project, my research was extremely eye opening, and made me even more angry at the way Ecosystems and biodiversity are being disregarded and destroyed across the world.
At the time I created this series, I was very involved with various Climate Activism groups, including at my Univeristy. This taught me so much about the Climate Crisis and meant that when I tackled emotive topics like this in my work, I was also able to ask advice from friends so that the messaging was right.
Apart from the recycled plastic, I used only biodegradable materials for the whole series which means that all these sculptures are now sat decomposing in the Compost bin!
Don’t shy away from tackling difficult subjects, change needs to happen and Art and Illustration is a very powerful tool.
I am really interested in branching out and working in Art Departments for Film, moving towards more three dimensional work. A dream illustration commission would be to be on a creative team working with charities and NGOs to promote positive change on a large scale.
Favourite Thing to Draw
I love drawing on location, whatever the weather and capturing the things around me especially on trains. I get so distracted sat at a desk all day, and end up losing all the energy and expression in my drawings.
I don’t have a workspace at the moment, just piles of sketchbooks and materials. I like it this way though, I always create my best work amongst the creative chaos!
First, I would like to thank Stop Ecocide for their incredible work, and for allowing me to enter this speculative project to the competition. Secondly, I would like to thank Cambridge School of Art, where I studied for my Illustration degree, the teaching and creative community there taught me so much, and I miss the studios every day!