#SustayinHome Virtual Art Expo 2020

In May 2020 the #SustayinHome Virtual Art Expo invited the McGill community, and their families, to submit a piece of sustainability-related artwork (music, fiction, poetry, drawings, etc.) to the virtual art expo! Below you will find an array of pieces, in a multitude of mediums, that represent the commitment of our community to sustainability both on and off campus.

A livestream virtual expo will be hosted on June 23rd, 2020 at 12:00PM EST. The livestream will feature various artists from the expo below. RSVP to the event here.

Thank you to all of the artists who submitted a piece to this collection.

For a full gallery view of all of the pieces, click here.

Student Showcase

Emma Melis, Student

Painting of Bees

For the Bees

Artist Statement: I made this sign for the climate justice march last winter out of recycled cardboard I found on campus and acrylic paint. It shows a bee, weeping for the loss of its kind and for the fall of ecological balance due to climatic abuse by mankind. Since then, I've been reusing the sign for all climate events I attend, and I keep it in my room as a reminder for why I have committed my personal life, studies, and work to the environment. I choose to act "for the bees" because pollinators were the first catalysts for my passion for the environment when I was very young and getting involved in changing environmental policy. Both the message and the medium represent sustainability to me because of the longevity of the physical piece and because it serves as a constant reminder of issues that are bigger and greater than I am.

Chloé Michel, Bioresource Engineering

Orangutan

Petit Orang Outan

Artist Statement: I think of animals as one with their environment. I think humans should aim to be one with nature as well.

Stewart Wiseman, Faculty of Law

Tainted Rainbows (A One-Scene Play)

Artist Statement: The piece ties together several contemporary sustainability-related issues, notably resource extraction, Indigenous rights, and the battle we see played out in the media of "economy vs. environment". My piece imagines the debates on Indigenous lands between signing deals with resource extraction companies for the economic good of the community, versus protecting the invaluable stories and heritage tied to the land which have been held as sacred by countless generations before. Although there is often a short-term payoff in extracting from the ground, there is no dollar amount that can replace a damaged Earth.

Leen Mshasha, Faculty of Arts and Science

Linocut

Pret-a-souffrez

Artist Statement: A play on the term “prêt-à-porter” meaning ready to wear, this linocut print explores the role of fast fashion in a consumerist society. Printed on cotton and embroidered with thread, the careful crafting of the piece is contrasted with its contents which allude to the unsustainable way in which our garments are produced. The price tags reveal the true cost of our garments: kilos of pesticides, greenhouse gases and water. The industrial conveyor belt and shredding blender blade vortex illustrate the obsession with consumption and bring the expression “out with the old, in with the new” to life. Pret-a-souffrez shines a spotlight on the suffering provoked by this industry and encourages the viewer to consider a more sustainable way of life.

Erin Sass, Student

Bouquet of FlowersSome Light Fleuries Today

Artist Statement: I post my 100% digitally-designed creations that are meant to look like paper cutting art!

Erin Sass, Student

Digital design of jellyfishDon't be Jelly

Artist Statement: I post my 100% digitally-designed creations that are meant to look like paper cutting art!

Erin Sass, Student

Woman covering her face from sunSunblock

Artist Statement: I post my 100% digitally-designed creations that are meant to look like paper cutting art!

Shahrzard Kiani, Civil Engineering

Coffee cup with a sketch on itSketchiato 

Artist Statement: It is no secret that disposable coffee cups are a prolific source of waste throughout Canada and North America. Although the best solution appears to be using reusable cups. However, forgetfulness and admittedly the convenience of regular coffee cups sometimes causes the average coffee consumers to leave their tumblers at home. As a student and a coffee enthusiast, I try to keep this from happening as much as possible, and when I do end up with disposable cups, I try to re-purpose them to be used around the house. Instead of throwing them away, I wash them and decorate them by sketching iconic buildings that I like. As a civil engineering student who is in love with architecture, there are plenty of buildings I love and know to choose from, and I always have a fun time sketching them. It is a nice conversation starter when my friends see these cups around my room, repurposed to act as pencil cases or jewelry organizers, or even small personalized gifts. This particular cup is from an outstanding work of architecture called “Shams-ol-emareh”, located in my hometown, Tehran, Iran.

 

 

Staff and Faculty Showcase

Karen Oberer, Sustainability Officer

Reclaiming her Habitat

Artist Statement: I was inspired to create this piece after reading an article about how national parks around the world are changing during the COVID-19 pandemic: "conservationists are providing legitimate reports of cleaner air and water, and wildlife reclaiming contested habitats." Black bears are common sights at campgrounds during the summer; however I wanted my piece to show an animal reclaiming space that properly belongs to it. This is not an invasion; it is a reclamation. National parks aren't just for people to enjoy nature, as important to human well-being as they are. Parks are conservation areas in which the native plant and animal species must be protected and respected. The article ends with call to action, "the adoption of a Planetary Health framework that aims to balance human and ecological well-being, build[ing] on emerging partnerships with local communities and foster[ing] innovative approaches to Indigenous-led conservation."

Joan O'Malley, Administrative Coordinator, Maude Abbott Medical Museum

The Earth Began to Heal (A Poem)


The Earth began to heal
is a sentiment that’s hard to feel.
To make new decisions and to dream of new visions,
to see that the world is affected by all our decisions,
and costs and benefits are not accurately weighed,
we feel the need for changes to be made
for the Earth to begin to heal.

Ingrid Birker, Science Outreach Program Administrator

Hot Spot Cushion

Artist Statement: This cushion cover was made from a very stained cotton/linen table napkin. It shows the hot spots of Montreal. McGill downtown campus is painted super orange because it is super-hot for me in terms of personal commitment. The work I am doing today, while sitting on this hot spot cushion, has alot to do with transformation change for people and the planet. I spend alot of time thinking and working by the seat of my pants trying to come up with alternate sustainable approaches to teaching and learning electronically. Not just for the McGill community, but for the wider larger public that relies on our Museum's public education program to understand and appreciate the value of the natural and cultural world.

Ingrid Birker, Science Outreach Program Administrator

COVID Quilt

Artist Statement: This quilt represents my personal commitment to the sustainability movement. I recycle and reuse and repurpose as much as I can. This quilt is lots of pieces of used clothing, tea towesl, lace doilies, rags, trousers, shorts and even a piece of lace from my mother in-law’s favourite nightie. I am very sentimental as well as sustainable so this is how I get to keep these tactual momentos of my life near within my life. The corona virus are the purple circular blobs in the base of the black tree. The black tree is sprouting up from a dark winter. It is absorbing and decommissioning the virus and stretching branches forward to catch the colorful air, light, essence of new life. The new life is represented by all the patches of coloured textiles. The coronona quilt was mounted onto a very old patchquilt from a neighbour. She would have taken it to landfill.

Ingrid Birker, Science Outreach Program Administrator

PaintingPainting of Indoor Plants

Artist Statement: This is a painting of my indoor plants cleaning the air of the virus which you see floating between the geraniums and the norfolk pine. I painted it on the kitchen table, in front of the potted geraniums that have been cleaning our indoor air all winter. I then positioned it outside on the deck because it belongs in the outside air. This painting was made on a artists conch that I found growing on a tree stump in the neighbourhood. It represents what it means to drive transformational change—it starts in the home. Keep clean, do what you can right from your front living room to make sure life finds a way to continue. Sometimes you just have to transform a piece of nature to make your realize how resilient and adaptable we are.

Ingrid Birker, Science Outreach Program Administrator

Wolf Spider Painting

Artist Statement: This door was painted with leftover enamels and varnishes from an exhibit project at the Redpath Museum in the late 1990s. These paints would have been sent to the hazardous household waste site. I am glad that I was able to divert this solid waste and create an image of a huge Wolf spider lunging up to capture a dragonfly. My son Kendall told me that he saw this happen last summer from a canoe just before he was docking it in the Laurentians. He told me that the spider leapt into the air and grabbed the abdomen of the dragonfly with its powerful jaws. This is a sustainable relationship in nature and we have to respect that. The only thing left on the dock were the wings.

Aditya Jain, Sustainability & Events Coordinator, Building21

Stillness Project

Artist Statement: I believe in finding creative ways to reuse/ re-purpose materials we have instead of throwing them out immediately. These are few of the wine bottles that I emptied over the last two months of quarantine and decided to keep them as part of the experience. Each art is an inspiration I drew from my quiet walks outside near my house.

Dr. Yevgen Nazarenko, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences

Germinating Plant

Artist Statement: The drawing shows a lone seed germinating from the red soil symbolizing revegetation of barren land against the colourful backdrop of unnatural colours of the sky parting as the clear pink air of hope fills them out.

Dr. Erica Moodie, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health

Untitled Sustainable Quilt

Artist Statement: Quilts I made for my kids using fabric bought in a scraps bin, embellished with some beads & embroidery thread.

 

 

Alumni and Family Member Showcase

Angela Macleod

Water is Life

Artist Statement: 

A fortune teller once told me “ I see water all around you!” She was right!

Water is my all time concern, how we use it, how we abuse it!

This painting reminds me that water is precious.

When I painted this painting it brought back some glorious memories of the days when I lived near the sea in a far away land.

I would look out to sea and I knew that that same water would be swirling around the world reaching my world back home!

We are all connected we are all together, we all must care!

Angela Macleod

Sitting on the Dock at the Bay!

Artist Statement: A fortune teller once told me “ I see water all around you!” She was right!

Water is my all time concern, how we use it, how we abuse it!

This painting reminds me that water is precious.

When I painted this painting it brought back some glorious memories of the days when I lived near the sea in a far away land.

I would look out to sea and I knew that that same water would be swirling around the world reaching my world back home!

We are all connected we are all together, we all must care!

Alexandra Urovitch

The Shape Poem

Artist Statement: The Shape Poem, submitted by Alexandra Urovitch, age 9. Alexandra is the daughter of Ben Urovitch (B.Eng '96) and Andee Shuster (B.Ed '00 and McGill Education Marketing and Communications Officer). #MadebyMcGillians

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