Survey of Climate Artists


Erica Daborn

SOS (Save Our Seeds) - 2020 - Erica Daborn - link

Erica Daborn is a fine artist from England and currently living in Mexico who, at the moment, is crafting intricate yet massive murals depicting global climate issues we all face together. Titled, “Dialogues with Mother Earth,” the newest murals form a critically acclaimed series of charcoal pieces. Daborn is an expert and previously a teacher of drawing techniques, and thinks of climate activism as a natural course through which to give meaning to her traditional craft.

People holding plants, animals, and objects while standing in a flood rendered in charcoal Seeking Higher Ground - 2020 - Erica Daborn - link (opens new window)

As a multi-faceted crisis, climate change is a large system which we contribute to in numerous ways. Though corporations drive a great deal of environmental impact, our own actions, wills, and emotions produce a large amount of waste too. Daborn’s work frequently visualizes these aspects through the products people in her murals hold and through the waste strewn about in backgrounds. A combination of our own actions and purchases from companies produced approximately 65% of global emissions in 2007 [1]. Furthermore, in the same year the United States, China, Japan, and Russia accounted for half of those household impacts. Countries that import a great deal of goods take on an inherited footprint of CO2 equivalents from the cost of transportation and production elsewhere.

Editor’s Note: In S.O.S (Save our Seeds), Daborn presents a visual order reminiscent of botanical drawings at a massive scale. People in the work are each holding numerous seeds of disproportionate size, dearly protecting them from the deep sea like a biblical ark. S.O.S highlights a rarely discussed consequence of our new industrial farming economy, whose genetically modified seeds, however necessary they may be, lead to the odd and distributing patenting of an element of natural order. Companies such as Monsanto are able to patent their modified seeds, leading to the concept of illegal planting. Daborn, in turn, conducts a striking and pointed critique of this industrial structure.

People lined up along a wall waiting to get water while being surveilled by cameras Water - 2020 - Erica Daborn - link (opens new window)

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Made by Annie Tor and Dieter Brehm