issues on environment

This article has been written by Bhuvaneshwari Krishnan pursuing a Personal Branding Program for Corporate Leaders from Skill Arbitrage.

This article has been edited and published by Shashwat Kaushik.


The sound of chirping birds settling down for the evening on top of a grand tree caught my attention. I admired the tree from root to treetop for its radiating beauty, with the winding vines and large leaves adding to its charm. The various insects crawling and some buzzing around as the tree stood majestically made me realise it is a living ecosystem with its own delicate balance. This delicate balance is what promotes the wellness of the tree and its coexisting interdependent lives that call it their home. ‘Eco’ is a word derived from Greek origin meaning ‘home’. Earth is an ecological system where there is interdependence among living organisms, including humans. Pollution, deforestation, climate change and other human influences have disrupted the delicate balance on Earth, leading to calamities.  We need to focus on environmental wellness by taking a holistic approach towards building a good physical, mental and emotional connection with the environment. This ensures the well-being of the entire ecosystem.

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Concept of eco art and environmental wellness

Eco-art and environmental wellness are interconnected. Eco-Art is a contemporary activist art movement that promotes environmental wellness. The vision is to bring positive change to the environment by using the power of art. It focuses on eco-friendly methodology and sustainable practices, with an emphasis on environmental issues. Eco-art history dates from the 1960s, when the Earth art and land art movements were getting attention. The artist Robert Morris, one of the  pioneers in this genre, created works that explored the relationship between society and nature. Since then, artists have used eco-art to engage themselves with environmental issues or promote sustainable practices.

Eco-Art addresses aesthetics, ethics, politics, economics, cultural practices and the impact all of these have on the world’s ecosystems. Eco-artists can be viewed as environmental activists, drawing awareness of environmental concerns regarding our planet Earth through the medium of creative expression.

The Eco-Art forms focus on ecosystems and their interrelation with our environment by encouraging awareness, stimulating dialogue and emphasising the need for a sustainable lifestyle.


Climate change and its effects on the environment at an alarming rate are putting a spotlight on the expanding field of eco-art. It prioritises ecological dynamics and sustainable practices.

The main principles of eco-art:

  • Eco-friendly materials: Materials that are sustainable and renewable are used. Natural materials, natural fibres, organic matter and recycled materials are some examples.
  • Nature connect: The art focuses on building a connection between nature, artist and people. It creates awareness and appreciation for the environment, encouraging participation and willingness to take action to protect the environment.
  • Care for the environment: Eco-art focus is to raise awareness about environmental issues, which promotes discussions on these issues. Art is used as a medium to promote activism, encourage participation, take action, and change lifestyles, all of which benefit the wellness of the ecological balance.
  • Reducing, recycling and repurposing: Eco-art promotes sustainable sources for materials to minimise the impact on the environment. It encourages reducing waste, recycling and repurposing materials that otherwise generate waste.
  • Collaborative work: Many professionals, such as architects, landscape architects, interior designers, scientists, educators and others, work in collaboration with the eco-artist to create works.

Eco art – material and methodology

The core essence of eco-art is the principles of sustainability, conservation and ecology. Artists integrate these principles, sustainable materials and techniques into their works. Environmental wellness being the main goal of an Eco Artist; the materials used for art are organic materials, recycling of waste, repurposing of waste, etc.

Organic forms and textures, colours and hues inspired by nature are used to establish the lost connection between the viewer and their environment.

Eco-art installations can be site specific where-in the artwork is created specifically for that particular site and is a permanent installation to inspire the viewers. It can also be an ephemeral art form like land art, where the art form is transient with time and non-permanent in nature.

Land art, also known as earth art, is a form of art that is created directly in the natural environment using materials such as stones, rocks and organic elements. It can be a simple arrangement of stones or a large-scale sculpture covering a vast area of land. This art form has existed from prehistoric times until the current date due to its deep appreciation for nature.

There are various approaches the artist can take to express his creativity and achieve the goal of environmental wellness. Some of the well-known ones are:

  • Activist projects: Eco-art, where the focus is to raise awareness on a particular social or environmental issue in order to protect the environment.
  • Remediation project: Eco-art where-in the focus is on restoring damaged and polluted landscapes using artistic techniques
  • Representation work: Eco-art where the focus is on the representation of objects or events in the real world related to ecological or environmental issues.
  • Social sculpture: Eco-art, where the focus is on sculptural forms with social and environmental themes. They are mostly made out of natural materials to promote sustainability.
  • Direct encounter: Eco-art where the focus is on the viewer’s experience, where the viewer encounters art in a direct and immersive way. It can also be an interactive art form with the environment with a theme of environmental wellness.
  • Ecopoetic art: Eco poetry is an art form that combines the elements of ecology and poetry to raise awareness about environmental wellness.
  • Relational aesthetics: The relationship between the viewer and the ecology is highly emphasised in these artworks, giving a deeper understanding of environmental wellness.
  • Pedagogical or didactic works: These are educational methodologies where-in the art forms are used as tools to educate about environmental wellness. It provides more hands-on learning, allowing the student to explore various materials and techniques to establish and rediscover their own relationship with the environment.

Eco art – sustainability in practices

Green architecture, also known as “sustainable architecture” or “green building,” is an idea that focuses on sustainable building practices. It is based on environmentally friendly principles such as energy efficiency, waste reduction, and water conservation to minimise the carbon footprint of the building on the environment. Key features of green architecture are the use of renewable materials, passive solar designs, green roofs and walls and rainwater harvesting systems.  The goal of green architecture is to create visually appealing buildings that are also energy efficient, sustainable and promote environmental wellness.

Sustainable interior design embraces eco-friendly practices and utilises natural materials to create and enhance living spaces. The goal is to create beautiful functional spaces while minimising the impact on the environment. Design involves incorporating natural elements such as natural textiles, plants and other organic materials to bring the beauty of nature indoors. The organic forms, with their natural hues, create a calming effect, bringing one closer to nature. Wood, cork, bamboo and other sustainable materials responsibly sourced and harvested are also used. Some of the eco-friendly features include optimising energy efficiency by using solar panels, reducing waste and minimising the use of harmful chemicals. The goal of these practices is to promote a more environmentally friendly and sustainable lifestyle.

Eco art – Indian context

Eco-friendly and sustainable practices in art have been part of Indian tradition and culture. Ethnic, regional and folk-art methodologies use natural pigments and eco-friendly approaches to promote environmental wellness.

The eco artist scenario is currently brimming with talent, with more and more artists adapting this methodology for their creative expressions with a cause.

Recycled and repurposed art forms are gaining popularity in India. The artist recycles waste, such as e-waste, and industrial waste, into sculptures, murals, etc. Galleries and museums provide a platform for eco artists to showcase their art-works which promotes dialogue and citizens’ involvement in protecting nature. The artworks featured give the viewer an insight into the artist’s power of imagination to examine the relationship between humans and nature and creatively express it by emphasising a sustainable lifestyle.

Children are taught about safeguarding the environment. Eco-art for children brings out their creativity and promotes an appreciation for the natural world. Eco-friendly paintings, nature collages, and recycled art are explored for a deeper connection with nature. Eco-friendly colours for Holi and eco Ganeshas are trending during festival seasons.

The ‘Art for Climate Action; India Art Facts’ summit was recently held in Delhi in September 2023. More than 100 young artists from various fields took part actively in the summit. Sustainability through art was explored in the form of panel discussions, documentaries and workshops. G20 dignitaries, MPs and ministers honoured the summit with their presence.


Eco-art, is an important form of artistic expression that promotes environmental wellness and sustainability. It focuses on ecosystems and their interdependent relationships as an environment. The choice of artistic mediums is gravitating towards sustainable options such as land art, ephemeral art and upcycled art to create masterpieces. The art projects are mostly community based, restorative or interventionist art. The objective is to establish a strong connection between the viewer and the environment. The art forms stimulate dialogue and encourage awareness, leading to the ultimate goal of environmental wellness.

Eco-art serves to highlight environmental issues within communities. While the change may not be immediate, it has the potential to influence thoughts and actions. This shift in perspective can have positive implications for overall environmental wellness.



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