Making art for sustainability: A qualitative study about identifying artists' perspective on the relationship between environmental art and sustainable development

Author/s: Linnea Kindvall
Availability: Open Access
Type: Thesis
Year: 2019

Abstract: Environmental art is increasingly becoming a medium to address environmental challenges and studies have shown that the art form offers many opportunities when included within work of sustainable development. This study has investigated artists motivations to pursue environmental art and asked whether artists believe that art can contribute to sustainable development. This project was achieved using a qualitative approach and cross-sectional design, through semi-structured interviews with ten artists working with environmental art in different parts of the world. The theoretical framework consisted of theories describing artists’ motivations to pursue art and environmental art, as well as motivations of environmental activists. Results showed that artists are motivated to pursue environmental art for several reasons, some of these reasons relates to the same motivational factors among environmental activists. The artists also lined that their own connection to nature was a big motivation for pursuing environmental art. Nine out of ten artists agreed that art can contribute to sustainable development, and one artist questioned whether any development can be sustainable. The conclusion of this study is that artists’ main motivation to pursue environmental art derives from a response to environmental concerns in society and the world of today, out of a belief that art offers other kinds of opportunities to reflect on environmental concerns than normally communicated environmental information.

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