Exhibition Review: Eco-Visionaries: Confronting a planet in a state of emergency, Royal Academy of Arts, London

It’s a fact: “we are facing an ecological emergency”. The likes of young environmental guardians Greta Thunberg, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Artemisa Xakriaba and their peers have voiced these facts for the world to take note and take action. Eco-Visionaries: Confronting a planet in a state of emergency, an exhibition that is currently on at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, on the other hand takes those facts and visualises them to encourage people to take note and to take action.

Tackling issues from climate change to food shortage, species extinction and resource depletion, Eco-Visionaries brings together artists, designers and architects from around the world who accept and acknowledge the hard facts, and are reconsidering the relationship between humans and nature.

Each visionary offers their alternative visions on how the future may look, encouraging visitors to rethink their own lives, make changes, and most importantly, to reconnect with nature. Recognising that without a connection to nature people are unlikely to take action, the exhibition invites the audience “to interact with the environment in a more respectful way, putting nature and other species’ needs before our own”.

While discussions about climate change more recently have focused on “future generations”, Eco-Visionaries serves to remind viewers that the planet is experiencing environmental changes right here, right now – as the exhibition’s introduction draws light on: “we are no longer discussing an environmental catastrophe that might impact future generations, but a catastrophe that will now drastically affect our own”.

Mother Nature waits for “no man”, so to speak, and that is what one of Eco Visionaries’s highlights, win >< win seeks to address – the mortality of humans and their demise as a dominant species. The 2017 installation win >< win, by the art collective Rimini Protokoll, which as entertaining and engaging as it is, highlights a few “home truths”: that humans are the most endangered species on this planet and so too face extinction.

Using jellyfish, one of the few species in the world to actually benefit from the effects of global warming, as a focal point, viewers sit in a small auditorium wearing headphones before the lights dim and a screen ahead unveils a mirror. The male voice poses questions to the viewers about their age and mortality, as they look at themselves through the mirror, asking them to respond with gestures such as pointing and putting up their hands. The mirror soon fades away and the audience then becomes witness to a tank of live jellyfish.

The audio, which is akin to listening to an insightful radio documentary about global warming, explains how jellyfish, who are carnivores, are rapidly multiplying due to warmer seas and a scarcity of endangered sea turtles that prey on them. Seeing such creatures up close begs viewers to ask questions about non-native species to this planet, and the volume of unwelcome critters and things that live on this planet that seek to destroy the natural ecosystems.

At some point during the 16-minute interactive installation, viewers can then see through the tank and it becomes apparent that other viewers are sitting in a similar auditorium directly opposite. On the other side of the tank, they too are experiencing win >< win, although at a different time sequence. As the audio poses further questions of the mortality of the viewers in the second auditorium, win >< win serves as reminder of the vulnerabities of the human species and that they are not top of the food chain.

The Eco-Visionaries exhibition also displays artwork from familiar names such as artist and climate activist, Olafur Eliasson. In The Ice Melting Series, Olafur Eliasson highlights shrinking polar ice caps, getting visitors to examine how the choices and actions of humans anywhere in the world impacts the rest of the world no matter how far away a land may be from them geographically.

As visitors enter the exhibition, they are invited to view a plastic globe which spins in a tank surrounded by small green particles, indicative of plastics, which is in fact having an impact on the rotations of the planet and attempting to slow it down. The installation, entitled Domestic Catastrophe Nº3: La Planėte Laboratoire, is by the Paris-based design collective HeHe.

On closer inspection of the HeHe exhibit, the particles sit on the globe like microfibre clothing creates bobbles on clothes and just sits on the garments. When you see it in the context of the globe, it appears like a dead weight. If someone has not questioned the impact of microfibres in the context of the bigger picture before, this exhibit most certainly does that.

Madrid In The Air, a film especially commissioned for the exhibition, monitors the skyline of Madrid over a 24-hour period. The film, by London-based architect and researcher Nerea Calvillo, literally brings to light the veil of pollutants in the air seen in various illuminous colours. Another film, The Breast Milk of the Volcano, sees research studio Unknown Fields present findings from an expedition to Bolivia and the Atacama Desert, source of over half the world’s reserves of lithium, questioning the sustainability of the lithium-based batteries that power most electronic devices today.

In The Substitute, artist Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg enables visitors to come face-to-face with a life-size digital reproduction of a northern white rhinoceros, the last male of the subspecies of which died in 2018. Drawing upon rare zoological archival footage as well as experimental data from AI company DeepMind, viewers are reminded of animal species that face extinction.

Eco-Visionaries excells at presenting the hard facts in a way that gets people to really think about the environment and to examine the impact of their choices on the planet. It also encourages them to make changes in their own lives and to take action.

What we are witnessing now on this planet is what happens when inaction occurs, and while taking no action is an action in-and-of itself, what Eco-Visisonaries reminds visitors is that inaction comes at a price. Eco-Visionaries also suggests that for those willing to play an active role in the survival of the planet and its healing, there is “the need to relearn how to survive without further damage to the planet and coexisting with more empathy towards other living beings”.

Eco-Visionaries relays all of these messages not in an aggressive, worthy nor righteous manner, but in a most impactful way – one that is likely to serve as a visual reminder for those who have visited the exhibition as they makes choices in their daily lives, and so making for consciously-aware, environmentally-aware choices that serve a greater good for the planet and its native species.

Image Credits: © Royal Academy of Arts, London/David Parry

Eco-Visionaries: Confronting a planet in a state of emergency is on at the Royal Academy of Arts from now until 23 February 2020

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

Life of Venus- She explores human relationship and gender identities- Habiba Nowrose- Nisha Designs

Habiba Nowrose from Dhaka, Bangladesh photographs from the lens of women’s rights. Her portraits are rich with motifs that signify personality, from bright flowers to colorful garments. But the most identifying aspect of the Nowrose’s subjects are missing — her models’ faces are covered with fabric, leaving only an outline of a figure behind. Her series “Concealed” reflects on women’s personal sacrifices to meet societal expectations. This assimilation leaves the faceless subject anonymous to themselves, and their viewers.

To see more of her Art/ Photography please visit: http://www.habibanowrose.com

Street Wise- Art as an Activism or “Artivism”- Nisha Designs

The Triumph of imagination and individuality. These beautiful artist of boulder, colorado have created amazing art to inspire dialogue and model pathways toward a more empowered, positive culture though art.

Street Wise is an art experience driven by social activism. Art as activism or Artivism is a way to heal and restore our sense of personal power as well as create positive change. “Street Wise” hopes to encourage conversations about important issues that affect our culture, using art as a catalyst. Street art has a rich history in activism and social commentary and it is constantly evolving alongside society- Canyon Gallery, Boulder

Katy Zimmerman- Transmutation. You are vast and full of identities not yet explored. you will ultimately grow and change to fill them. You are scared, you are powerful.
Lindee Zimmer- Don’t Ignore This Crisis. We have one earth and we must respect it.This is not a drill this is an emergency. This change nature is experiencing is a direct result of humans. How will you act in a crisis?
Jessica Moon Bernstein-Schiano
Max Michael Coleman- Tipping Point/ Stacked- These Blue Sharks portrayed, like almost all other deep water shark species are harvested in mass. It is estimated that 100,000,000 sharks are killed annually for either soup or the cosmetic and pet food industry. It is a travesty of a monumental scale imposed upon our oceans by humans. However, just as it has been imposed, it can be remedied. We are at a tipping point with our oceans, just as these beautiful noble creatures you see before you are tipping, spilling, and leaving Earth. It is our duty to spread awareness and pass judgement on this ignorance and correct it. You the public reading it, it is in your hands. I have given you my painting, I have you my sentiment, my words, my time. Now i ask you to lend me your hand.
Patrick Maxcy. Survival- “This piece was inspired by decline in suitable orangutan habitat, which has landed the animal on the critically endangered list. Deforestation, brought on by legal and illegal to make way for oil palm plantation and other agricultural plantations, is a threat to their survival. In this pieces, pollution has replaced the forest floor. But the Orangutan sits wisely atop the trash pile ready to claim back his home.”
Johnny Draco. Wedge In Flight. This piece explores inclusivity through the lens of race seen by the eyes of modern day society.
Jessica Moon Bernstein-Schiano- The lack of sea ice was making it more difficult to get around.
Niamh Rita- The Chapel Of Femme. The Chapel of Femme is a place of reflection. Inside, you will see imagery that narrates some aspects of the queer femme experience. You need not be queer, femme, or a (non) believer os any specific faith to enter this space. All you are asked is to carry with you a spirit of respect and curiosity while you are within the walls of the chapel.

Courtney Mattison: Ocean advocate and artist using ceramics to depict the fragile beauty of coral reefs and threats it faces — Life & Soul Magazine

Sculptor and ocean advocate Courtney Mattison creates ceramic installations that depict the fragile beauty of coral reefs and the human-caused threats they face to “move us to value the blue planet we live on in ways that scientific data often cannot”. In her Our Changing Seas series, Courtney Mattison provides an artistic impression of what […]

Courtney Mattison: Ocean advocate and artist using ceramics to depict the fragile beauty of coral reefs and threats it faces — Life & Soul Magazine

The Doors of Tunisia- Authentic Traveling

It’s nearly impossible to visit Tunisia without noticing the beautiful doors. They’re everywhere. I often found myself lost in an ancient medina only to look at my camera roll and realize I’d spent the last 30 minutes taking pictures of doors.

In Tunisia, doors are symbolic reflecting the fortunes and happiness of the families living inside. They are generally built of palm wood reinforced with sheet metal. They are decorated with black studded nails to create complex geometric patterns. Occasionally some doors come with more floral patterns owing to the European influence.

When I visited Tunisia, I was just blown away by these doors. They’re so beautiful, and every city I visited tended to have its own unique style and color. Most doors are blue, but I saw yellow, turquoise, red, and white.

Some of the most common symbols on the doors are the crescent star, minarets flowers, and fir trees. Some of the doors have large archways allowing for a person to enter on a horse without dismounting.

Many will claim that the best doors are in Sidi Bou Said – the Santorini-like coastal town just outside Tunis – but I found that beautiful doors are located throughout the country. You just need to wander down the right side street to find the real treasures.

Most of the doors have two knockers – one for the men and one for the women. The ones on the left are used by the women, and the ones on the right are used by the men.

Link: https://www.authentictraveling.org/doors-of-tunisia/

Dar Ya Tunisia

Autumn and Breeze- Nisha Desai

Witches and Cats. Fiddles and Rhymes. Trains and Whistles. Trees and Roads. Colors and Leaves. Hammock and Pumpkins. Breathtaking and Riveting. Season and Collection. My life My Style😘🍁

Picture Credits: Nomadicdestiny, Tourcanada, octoberleavess, zoltangaborphotography, earthfocus

Shop Design

Contract Fabrics for Shop Design

If you think of DELIUS you are probably thinking of the textile furnishing of hotels, senior residences, theaters, cinemas, etc. Are you also using our fabrics when planning sales areas, shops and commercial properties? If not please read on.

With our new store concept we are demonstrating where and how to use DELIUS fabrics in shopfitting; we also show you which fabrics are suitable for the different areas.

Please visit our website for further information or order our shopfitting brochure at no cost: https://www.delius-contract.de/en/collections/shop-fitting

Contact: For more information/ samples

Nisha Desai at 702.622.8321 or nisha@nishadesigns.com

The Wedding

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Wedding: A brides dream. A bond between two hearts. A promise to cherish, respect, understand eachother in the ebb and flow of life. A new beginning filled with love, laughter and happiness. I love the colors and the excitement it brings as it should to a celebration. 

For custom paintings for any and all occasion call Nisha Desai at 702.622.8321 or email for more information to nisha@nishadesigns.com

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The Feminine

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The Feminine: It represents creation, abundance and owning ones feminine power. It enhances our first three lower chakras. Root, sacral and power. She is dynamic, intelligent and this painting calls her attention to be centered, grounded, balanced within to experience her truth.

For custom paintings for any and all occasions call Nisha Desai at 702.622.8321 or email for more information to nisha@nishadesigns.com

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Be Yourself

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Be Yourself: No matter what we do, where we at we must learn to own who we are. I wanted to do something inspiring with words for a 12 year old beautiful, witty, innocent and a charming young girl. Guardian of Gaia, lover of animals, nature. This painting will give her hope, strength to not give up and will always pull her back to who she is inside when she finds herself lost in the ebb and flow of life. I loved painting her style, her imagination and her thought process.

For custom paintings for any and all occasions call Nisha Desai at 702.622.8321 or email for more information to nisha@nishadesigns.com

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