The current context of my practice is the climate crisis. I want to be able to find new things to say about the crisis and I want to find new ways of doing so. This is the existential threat to humanity, I feel it is my duty to speak up in whatever way I can to push the need for remedial action.
I’m not alone in this, other artists feel a similar imperative and I intend to list some here and consider their influence upon me.
Mendel’s Drowning World project is a powerful collection of pictures from flooding situations around the world.
His work shows great compassion for his subjects, he is getting on their level, in the water and bringing their plight to the world’s attention.
Karl De Keyser
De Keyser created a collection of pictures called Before The Flood.
At the time I was introduced to his work, my own practice was similar to his. I too am interested in coastlines, their human interventions and how climate change will affect them.
The On The Beach series beautifully depicts the insignificance of humans when placed next to the sea. Like many interested in the climate crisis, I believe that humanity needs to fundamentally reappraise our relationship with the earth. Individually we are here for a short time. Collectively, humanity has been on the earth for a tiny fraction of its existence. We need to step back from trying to conquer the earth and instead recognise that we are stewards with the responsibility to care for that with which we have been entrusted.
The article about his work in the RPS Journal, October 2019, begins “James Balog is angry”. As well he might be. He has spent many years travelling and documenting the damage that humans are doing to the earth.