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SUSTAINABLE ART: ARTISTS AND ART INITIATIVES IN BERLIN 

From partnering with amazing artists and launching Staiy Atelier, to spotlighting educational berlin-based initiatives outside of our own, Staiy champions all forms of sustainability, including sustainable art.

Words By Dina Abedini Niknam

21/07/2021

Staiy Atelier

Staiy invests in all aspects of sustainability, including sustainable art. We recognise, however, that it is a weighted term, and people picture different things when they think of sustainable art. Staiy Atelier was our first grande venture into the art world, where we showcased a virtual exhibition of dynamic and diverse collections. You can find out more about Staiy Atelier here and here. One artist that we loved showcasing is Alexandre Oliveira. Oliveira takes single use plastic items, with a particular affinity to bottle caps, and turns them into whimsical yet powerful art pieces. With this technique, not only is the art piece made of recycled material, but the social commentary is immense. The contrast of the plastic waste with the image of a child, for example, is so intriguing that it makes you do a double take.

If I did not make it clear enough, this week’s #SustainabilityWednesday is all about sustainable art. To showcase an even broader range of what defines this term, we want to introduce and spotlight artists and art initiatives outside the realm of Staiy Atelier that combine sustainability and art; that make an impact. As mentioned above, people interpret sustainable art under different meanings. It can be art made of recycled or eco materials, or art that critiques environmental and sustainability issues, and these are only the two main interpretations of sustainable art.

Tom Albrecht

Dusseldorf-born Tom Albrecht is a multifaceted artist. Based in Berlin since 1972, Albrecht not only has experience creating sustainable art, but also served as the Environmental Officer at the Technical University of Berlin. His impressive dedication to all things sustainability is truly to be looked up to. Albrecht says that his work is “meant to critically reflect reality in a playful” way and that he wants “to contribute to create changes in the sense of sustainability and health for the next generations”. He takes a lens to our human concepts and social issues and creates pieces that reflect the sustainability aspect of them. Tom Albrecht also uses materials that can be found neglected on the street, such as bottles and tree branches, to create his sustainable art. You can see his collection titled “Commentary on the present” from the 13th of August till the 8th of October at the Gallery for Sustainable Art in Berlin

Artport_making waves

ARTPORT_making waves is a global collective that curates projects surrounding the topics of art, climate change, and sustainability. The collective started in 2006 in New York, USA and Valencia, Spain with the aim of raising awareness. They work together with artists, scientists, and policymakers as their new goal is to contribute to real change. Some key aspects of their projects include: being environmentally sustainable, supporting indigenous communities and traditional knowledge, and supporting ocean conservation, reforestation, climate action, and education. One of their Berlin-based projects is the “WE ARE OCEAN, Berlin”. The goal was to facilitate a discussion about our dependence and misuse of the ocean, as well as what can be done about it. To achieve this, “a curated film program clearly illustrated key points of discussion”, as stated on their website.

Entretempo Kitchen Gallery 

Self-described as a “grassroots movement, addressing socio-political-environmental issues through food and art”, Entretempo Kitchen Gallery (EKG) is an outside-of-the-box example of sustainable art. Tainá Guedes, the founder of EKG, believes that “art becomes an extension of the kitchen – and food a common base for expressing and sharing thoughts and ideas”. That is why it is part of the Gallery’s mission to educate people about food and its impact on our society but also to fight against food waste. They use organic, local, and socially fair items and actively practice Mottainai, a japanese word meaning “what a waste”, or put in different terms, reusing and repurposing items that would otherwise go to waste. EKG has a large repertoire consisting of exhibitions, dining experiences, installations, performances and workshops. One recurring event linked to Entretempo is the Food Art Week (FAW). It is a non-profit project that combines food, art, and sustainability to promote positive environmental and social change. This event is likewise global and has already been held in Montreal, Mexico City, Paris, and three times in Berlin. Food Art Week 2020 had the topic of SEEDS while the 2021 theme is DIVERSITY.

To conclude, sustainable art, unironically, is a colourful term that encompasses a wide range of creations and projects. No matter how you choose to define it, the world is full of creatives striving to make a change in their own way; with a little colour and a lot of dedication. 

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