Eight leading artists championing sustainability


To celebrate Earth Day, we showcase eight contemporary artists using their work to advance environmental issues


With the rise of Greta Thunberg, increasing talk of a ‘green recovery’ from Covid-19, and the COP26 conference now just months away, the climate crisis has never been more of a talking point. Among those calling for action before it’s too late are some of the world’s leading contemporary artists. Here, we look at eight who are using their practice to spotlight the environment, tackle the urgency of climate change, and champion sustainability.


1. Justin Brice Guariglia

Conceptual artist Justin Brice Guariglia has been making work that explores our relationship with the natural world since 2009, when he transitioned from photojournalism to fine art. Over the last decade, he has worked with a number of high-profile organisations to raise awareness around the issues of climate change and the destruction of natural environments.


The artist has been collaborating with NASA since 2015 to document the rapid decline in Greenland’s ice sheets, even designing an app that tells the user how their local area will be affected by rising sea levels in the near future.

In 2018, Guariglia created Climate Signals, presented in partnership with the Climate Museum and the New York City Mayor's Office. The works consisted of ten solar-powered highway signs across all five New York City boroughs, with messages that were anything but ordinary — instead of warning about upcoming construction work or traffic delays, they alerted passersby to the reality of rising sea levels and the dangers of climate denial.