Urban Environmentalism

Abstract painting: Urban Environmentalism

PF_Storyfest_Badge_V4_03-15-16_ALsmall-03.png"To make this world work, it takes all different kinds."

I firmly believe in this age old adage, especially when it comes to environmental issues, and this provided the basis for my abstract painting. Its many jumbled, colorful, and varied elements represent the collision of countless different viewpoints and methods coming together to create the ultimate green city. In an area so concentrated with people, numerous approaches, perspectives, and preferences must come together to achieve a greater goal.

If you look closely, you can see representations of some of the things I see as key to developing green urban environments. Droplets are meant to represent water and its numerous uses, including rainwater collection, water recycling, and hydrologic power; however, they also represent biofuels, which are a much more environmentally-friendly fuel alternative to traditional fossil fuels. There are also some electrical plug shapes to express a shift to electric cars, and wheel shapes to encourage fuel efficient modes of transportation and carpooling. Swirling images and long lines with X-shapes at the tops represent wind energy, and shapes reminiscent of suns, as well as boxes split into four quadrants, represent solar energy and solar panels. The occasional circular arrows and the iconic triangle of three arrows of course represent the "reduce, reuse, and recycle" mantra, which is certainly an important element already interwoven in many urban environments. Leaf shapes represent the importance of urban farming, green roofs, and involving plant life in city design.

The prevalence of multiple shades of blue and green respectively symbolize the importance of water and plants. The golden background simultaneously emphasizes the reliance of all living systems on light, and the hope for a cleaner, greener future. Various zodiac signs interwoven into the piece represent the many different people and perspectives involved in city life, and the additional shapes and colors represent the possibility of countless other ideas and people coming together to make the world a better place.

One of the key metaphors of this painting is that, unlike other media, it is unfinished, constantly evolving, and up to interpretation; like an ideal urban environment, it always has the potential for growth and improvement. I believe that there is no one singular image of the ultimate green urban lifestyle, which is the core messages I was trying to portray; it takes a unity of many ideas to be most effective and practical.

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