What does art have to do with permaculture you may ask? Well quite a bit actually! The old saying ‘a picture can tell a thousand words’ reminds us that visual art can be a *great* way to engage with folks of all ages to get permaculture messages out there. Empowering folks to make changes, take action & learn new information too without coming across too judgemental or prescriptive – yes please!
Which is why PA is partnering with several artists as part of our ‘T shirt’ project. A great opportunity for aspiring and current artistic folks to share permaculture messages as wearable art – while encouraging folks to take positive action.
Applications are open until the 30th Sept 2020 so hop to it – we can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with.
To get you inspired, we’ve collated a few of our fabulous PA member artists who are using their artistic talents for *good*.
Meg McGowan, Permacoach does a bit of everything. Author, artist, designer and coach is the best way to pin it down. Meg’s approach to teaching and living permaculture focuses on the three principles of earth care, people care, fair share – and her primary goal is to find ways to get more permaculture happening on the ground. Meg releases a regular ‘Climate Choose Day’ cartoon on her blog and social media here too.
Meg’s reflection on cartooning: “I’m enjoying my new adventures into cartooning. It’s as if my writing, art, permaculture and sense of humour formed a relationship and had a baby.”
You probably know Brenna Quinlan as “that permaculture illustrator”. Her artwork is featured in several permaculture inspired books (Retrosuburbia, Milkwood to name a few), adorns badges and posters in her online shop, has been shared *hundreds of thousands* of times on social media, and is also featured on our very own PA website. In an interview earlier this year with Brenna we asked her about the power of artwork in advocacy – and we couldn’t agree with her responses below more.
“The internet and social media have drastically changed the ways that people consume, consider and access information. There is so much out there vying for our attention that the clearest way to get an idea across is the one that will prevail. Images have this power. An image can be shared millions of times almost instantaneously…
On top of this lies the fact that images are less prescriptive than text – they allow people to interpret their content in a way that makes sense to them… Most people are visual learners, so images resonate on a level that words simply can’t. Images can also suggest positive behaviour change without sounding preachy or judgemental – the power of an image to actually inspire change is really unique.”
Megan Forward is one of our newer PA members (welcome Megan!). She is an author and illustrator of childrens picture books that encourage children and families to connect to permaculture and nature in everyday life.
Megan also facilitates hands-on interactive STEAM (Science, Technology, English, Art and Maths) workshops for young children using her picture books as a stimulus – involving drawing, painting & planting. Why?
“My hope is to connect children to the natural world, because you care for what you love.“
April Sampson-Kelly is a Director on the PA Board and also runs Permaculture Visions, where she teaches permaculture courses online and face to face to hundreds of students worldwide. Her online bio states:
“Performing, drawing and photographing impulsively, April values the arts to keep her happy and able to tackle dark realities of human greed and climate change. Her work in the arts has enabled her to explore a wide range of teaching strategies. A picture tells a thousand words, yes,.. and a schematic tells a thousand more…the arts can empassion people and invite them to engage in confronting political issues.”
Tassie based Hannah Maloney designs productive permaculture spaces, teaches permaculture courses, guest presents about permaculture on ABC’s Gardening Australia – and also hand draws and designs fabulous educational tea towels.
You can learn about bee friendly plants, home brew, making sauerkraut, composting, pruning fruit frees and much more – all while you dry the dishes! The latest design ‘Outgrow the Status Quo’ is “here to remind us how we can all play a part in building a truly wonderful and just world for everyone.”
Permaculture Australia is seeking collaboration with the artists in our member community to design a limited edition T shirt series. We want to celebrate the positive contribution that permaculture thinking can make to this strange new world we find ourselves in. Find out more information, including the terms and conditions and application form here. Artwork applications must be received before 11.59pm on Wednesday 30th September.
Hannah, Brenna, Meg, Megan and April are professional members of Permaculture Australia, the national member based permaculture organisation. Sign up as a member here today to join hundreds of members across Australia advocating for permaculture solutions.