Over the past 500 years, humans have caused 332 species to become extinct (Seeker.com). These numbers are only an estimate as there are new species discovered regularly, therefore theoretically, “If there are 100,000,000 different species on Earth and the Extinction rate just is 0.01% per year then 10,000 species could go extinct ever year” (WFF.Panda.org). From the Tasmanian Tiger to the Dodo, humans have run hundreds of species from healthy numbers to non-existence. Due to human-modified ecosystems, many species struggle to adapt to new/damaged environments. Many artists have taken it upon themselves to be the voice for animals using art as visual activism. Artist Robin Wood created a series of imagery which he used as large poster/billboard displays to advertise the influences of deforestation, melting ice caps and forest fires on their native wildlife.
These images have an incredible detail that represents the day-to-day destruction of natural surroundings from large corporations. All of the animal silhouettes are in a startled or running stance, make the viewer envisioning the creature running from the destruction emulated in their outline. These designs are something the viewer could study to truly understand the impact these industries are having on wildlife and natural habitats globally. The designs ended up being available to purchase due to the overwhelming level of requests and response to the campaign. A 2015 article talked about how art influences peoples perceptions of climate change. Visual activism can be powerful. The article discusses how art can shine “an uncomfortable light” on the truth and how the environment is being damaged, “Art is not a mirror to reflect reality, but a hammer with which to shape it” (The Guardian.com).
“How many Species are we Losing?”. N.D, http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/biodiversity/biodiversity/
Simms, Andrew. “Why Climate actions needs the Arts”. June 3rd 2015, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/03/why-climate-action-needs-the-arts
Viegas, Jen. “Humans Caused 322 Animal Extinctions in Past 500 Years”. July 24th 2014, https://www.seeker.com/humans-caused-322-animal-extinctions-in-past-500-years-1768850883.html