Art, climate change and remembering what you stand for

The past 6 months has been a distressing time for our country. Australia is on fire, lives have been lost, wildlife lost, homes lost, and millions of hectares burnt.

Last week a friend and I ventured into Melbourne with our daughters to visit the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). We were there to see the Keith Haring and Jean-Michael Basquiat exhibition - Crossing Lines.  The exhibition gave an insight into their unique visual languages , their lives and the world around them. It was a complex socio-political commentary of the 1980’s.

Powerful and persuasive art has a social function, challenging our understanding of the world in which we live and how we operate within it.

Before we entered the NGV we decided to walk down Hosier lane, a historical bluestone laneway that is home to Melbourne’s vibrant street art scene. Images adorn the space - and immediately you begin to question the underlying commentary of each unique artist. Today we were confronted by the visual representation of our country, our wildlife, our planet.

Back within the walls of the NGV I was reading about the art produced by Haring and Basquiat and I couldn’t help but see the connection between the art I was viewing inside the NGV and the street art I had experienced in Hosier lane. Art reminds us to think, to feel and to connect to what we are experiencing. It illuminates what is happening within the world around us. Artists tell us a story through the artist's eyes. That can be a story about gay rights (Haring), or racism and social justice (Basquiat), or climate change and our need to fight for a sustainable future in the case of the street artists of Hosier lane.

Protecting our planet is not a political discussion, it is a human rights discussion. Climate change should not be used as political football designed to divide us. Politicians have a unique way of trying to do that, even whilst our country burns politicians are trying to divide us. In Australia it has been the people, not the politicians that have rallied and created unity through fundraising and concerts. Interesting that it is the comedians, the actors, the writers and the artists who have been a large part of that unity with concerts, fundraisers and social media campaigns.

We as humans, have a responsibility to protect the planet. As a business Organic Nation also has a responsibility to protect the world around us, it is after all the planet that provides the ingredients that we use.  Just as Organic Nation aims to heal and protect the skin we must heal and protect the earth. As the smoke haze continues, as communities begin the long road to rebuilding their future, now is the time to remember we all have a role to play when it comes to protecting our planet. Now is the time to add our voice to the millions around the world fighting to protect the future for our planet.

The day for me was enlightening. It is amazing how a day looking at art, inspiring, challenging and confronting, can remind you to reconnect to your voice and remember what your stand for, a cleaner, greener planet.


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