In these days of climate change, do you ever wonder how you personally contribute to the rapidly rising content of carbon emissions in your environment?
Tim Gaudreau, an internationally exhibited Eco-Artist who lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, suggests we consider this: “Imagine your day without coffee. You’ve run out of chocolate and there are no tomatoes or onions for your pizza. Ever. They’re gone, along with apple pie. These are likely scenarios in the not-so-distant future directly resulting from climate change. Honeybees, a vital part of the interconnected web of ecosystems, is threatened by undeniable stress of climate change and pesticides. Inaction will leave a devastating impact upon our diets.”
“Artists Have Considerable Responsibility”
Gaudreau is an artist on a mission. He states emphatically: “I believe artists have considerable responsibility as cultural instigators to ask questions, raise issues and challenge assumptions. As a conceptual eco-artist, I use my work and my voice to address our cultural (dis)connection from Nature in order that we may reconsider our relationship to land and resources.” He combines photography, video, new-media, graphics, and sculpture “with humor and irony to create collaborations that advocate for a greater awareness of eco-issues and empowerment.”
Carbon Footprint Installation
The artist challenged himself to find out his CO2 (carbon dioxide) footprint by meticulously photographing hundreds of personal items for an entire year. This led to assembling thousands of the photos on view at the New England Institute of Art in Brookline, Massachusetts in 2012. The installation was titled “My Carbon Footprint: 365 days of tracking my CO2 emissions aka Self-Portrait: 365 Days of Considered Consumption”.
As a result of his epic work on CO2 emissions, Gaudreau came to the conclusion that he had to change his habits. He came to understand that everything he did contributed to CO2 emissions, and so he began to limit as much as possible his use of oil. He started heating his house with wood; changed his car to B50-100 biodiesel fuel; replaced most light bulbs with compact fluorescents; created a garden; reduced air travel; installed a solar photo-voltaic electrical system; and raised honeybees and chickens.
Gaudreau relates, “burning fossil fuels is the lifeblood of activity” and he is convinced that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels have changed our climate. In 200 years, we have burned our way … to a 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit rise in global temperature. He says that this increase is reflected in melting polar ice caps, smaller winter ice shelves, raising sea levels, disappearing island nations, animal and plant migration northward, droughts, extreme weather, hotter summers, colder winters, mass species extinction, and changes in tropical disease vectors as mosquitoes expand into new latitude.
Recycling Program – Collaboration with Children
His environmental activities led him to work with the city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire to help initiate a downtown recycling program. There, he collaborated with local school children to decorate five recycling stations with hand made carved and colorfully painted tiles. He has also designed Green Furniture, such as a couch, which is made from the local grasses, clover and edible plants. Many of his projects are offered to people as a symbolic gesture of healing to nature.
He represents one in a growing number of artists who are using their creative talents to inform us about the dangers and changes caused by the global warming situation. He believes that we need to be individually conscious about what we personally do to make low impact choices and we need to make sacrifices. One of many examples could be investing and supporting companies that are socially responsible.
Gaudreau’s intention is “to catalyze a harmonious connection to the world.” He emphasizes, “Through my work, I intend to create collaborations that activate community and empower people to make a lasting difference.”
Visit Tim Gaudreau’s website www.timgaudreau.com