Art affects people on a personal level — inspiring action and instilling a deeper consciousness of the world around us. It can also be a powerful tool to spread awareness of environmental issues and climate change, both of which profoundly affect our existence.
Even as the world shutters in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, people are finding solace in making art and sharing it with others. And, a few young Middle Eastern painters — influenced by other activists and Earth Day Network’s Artists for the Earth campaign — are using their talents to fight climate change.
With a career spanning more than nine years, Sana Hussein joined the environmental movement after seeing how a changing climate directly impacts her community of Konya, Turkey. Using modern art techniques, Hussein reflects on the importance of saving our environment and motivating others to take action.
For the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, she contributed three portraits: “Earth Beauty,” “Tulips” and “Daisy Flowers.” In all her pieces, Hussein emphasizes the role of women in fighting climate change.
Layla Alsafy is an Iraqi artist who is eager to take action this Earth Day. She began drawing at the age of five, and her art now focuses on forests, wildlife and women’s beauty.
Using colorful acrylics, she painted “Toucan’s Jungle,” which highlights the deeper connection humans have to the Earth.
Maryam Albarghooth, 26, is a medical assistant in Iraq fighting against the spread of coronavirus. Her love for the environment is infinite.
Albarghooth works in oils, a variety of charcoal and wooden coloring pencils and in digital art. Her painting entitled “Save What Remains of Paradise” focuses on the importance of species in an attempt to inspire governments across the globe to take action against climate change and the wildlife trade.
Aysha Al Musdi
Aysha Al Musdi learned to draw by watching YouTube tutorials. She creates pieces about the environment and teaching complex techniques to other aspiring artists in Turkey.
Al Musdi painted this piece, entitled “Our One and Only Earth,” in honor of Earth Day. She used greens and blues to depict the liveliness and gorgeousness of our planet.
Nour Qasim uses her artwork to illustrate the magnificence of nature.
For the 50th anniversary, she merges the concept of women’s beauty with a wild landscape. With “Eyes on Earth,” she intends to demonstrate that climate change affects more than just the natural world around us – it impacts humans, too.
Amal Obaid cares deeply about our planet. She never attended school, but she learned quickly the detrimental effects climate change will have on bird species.
Obaid drew “Save our Species,” an artistic painting to save and protect our feathered friends.
Young artists are bringing energy and life to Earth Day 2020. And art will play as big of a role as it did on the first Earth Day back in 1970. The planet needs us now more than ever. On April 22, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, join the largest digital mobilization for the environment, and sign up as an Artist for the Earth.
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