Illustration & The Environment

  • Introduction
  • Part 1. How illustration mediates to inform human audiences
  • 01) Prehistoric painting
  • 02) Visual evidence for scientific research
  • 03) Interdisciplinary value
  • Part 2. How illustration employs the environment to mediate with a human audience
  • 01) Nature-themed illustration
  • 02) Nature as illustration
  • 03) Giving materials a new life
  • Part 3. The importance of illustration to mediate between the environment and a human audience
  • 01) How can illustration make people feel
  • 02) How can illustration make people act
  • 03)How can illustration make natural audiences feel
  • Postscript

We by no means rule over nature like a conqueror over a foreign people, like someone standing outside nature — but that we, with flesh, blood, and brain, belong to nature, and exist in its midst, and that all our mastery of it consists… (Engels)

People live in harmony with their natural environment. Disobeying the laws of nature will inevitably be punished by nature. The current ecological crisis is the most vivid evidence of this punishment. Illustration, as a medium of visual communication, answers the question of how illustrations mediate between the natural environment and the human audience in the reader. This reader is divided into three parts: At the first, based on time, describing how illustration mediates to inform a human audience. The second part, natural materials as the medium, represents how illustration employs the environment to mediate with a human audience. The third part, depending on human emotion, describes The importance of illustration to mediate between the environment and a human audience. Our ultimate goal is to fulfill the responsibility of a visual communicator, allowing the audience to have a clearer understanding of our natural world through illustrations.

How illustration mediates to inform human audiences

Before photography, Illustration was the only way to record and show visuals of strange creatures, no matter in prehistoric time or during the last few centuries. Early humans used to paint on the wall or ceiling of caves to record surroundings. With the progress of technology and the enlightenment of knowledge, the study of nature has become more rigorous and nature illustrations have become more detailed, informative and educational, which is so called scientific illustration. Scientific illustrations provide a visual basis for scientific research, which can go beyond the complex language often used to describe scientific topics and allow for a greater understanding of the subject.

01) Prehistoric painting

Cave paintings are humanity’s oldest form of visual art. The oldest known cave paintings are more than 44,000 years old, found in both the Franco-Cantabrian region in western Europe, and in the caves in the district of Maros (Sulawesi, Indonesia). The most common subjects in cave paintings are large wild animals, such as bulls, horses, and deers.

As with all great art, they’ll offer insight into the way in which people of that day thought, though it took place tens of thousands of years ago.

7 Oldest Cave Paintings in The World

[ Altamira Cave ]

Date: 35,600 years ago Location: Spain Subjects: Ochre and charcoal images of handprints, bison, lions and horses

Altamira Cave, Spain

In northern Spain, discovered within the 19th century, the Altamira Cave was the original cave where prehistoric paintings were found. Paintings were of such a high quality that scientific society had doubts about their authenticity and accused its discoverer of forgery. At that period of time, most people did not agree prehistoric men had the intellectual ability to generate any type of artistic expression. It wasn’t until the year 1902 that they were acknowledged as genuine. The ochre and charcoal images of handprints, bison, and horses inside the Altamira Cave are amongst the best-preserved paintings worldwide.

'after Altamira, all is decadence.' Picasso

7 Oldest Cave Paintings in The World

[ Magura Cave ]

Date: 35,600 years ago Location: Spain Subjects: Ochre and charcoal images of handprints, bison, and horses

Magura Cave

In Bulgaria, the Magura Cave is among the largest caves in the NW portion of the country. Its cave walls are adorned by prehistoric cave paintings that date back around 8000 to 4000 years ago. Over 700 drawings were discovered on its cave walls. They’re painted with bat excrement and represent dancing and hunting people and various animals. The prehistoric wall paintings of Magura are of exceptional expression and artistic depth and are considered the most significant works of art of the European Post-Paleolithic era.

7 Oldest Cave Paintings in The World

Although only two examples are picked to show prehistoric illustrations, they are enough to stimulate our imagination and make us guess about the animals and things that were related to the human at that time.

02) Visual evidence for scientific research

For thousands of years, illustrations have been used to depict observations and inform others. Early scientific illustration was the primary way to capture images of newly discovered animal species, to show internal human anatomy, or to create an index of plant or animal species. This was necessary before the imaging capabilities of the modern were invented.

Scientific illustration takes the viewer to the often unobservable — from molecules and viruses to the universe, from depiction of the internal anatomy of arthropods and plants to geologic cross sections and reconstruction of extinct life forms, ranging from realistic to abstract portrayal.

The Guild Handbook of Science Illustration (2003)

Botanical art from the golden age of scientific discovery (2016)

Wall charts were a familiar component of the classroom through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The book Botanical art from the golden age of scientific discovery contains an exquisite collection of historic botanical wall charts. Each wall chart is accompanied by captions that offer accessible information about the species featured, the scientists and botanical illustrators who created it, and any particularly interesting or innovative features the chart displays. This book provides information about plant anatomy and morphology and species differences, the illustrations are all presented in exquisite, larger-than-life detail. This book shows the unique fusion of art, science, and education, the wall charts gathered in the book offer a glimpse into a wonderful scientific heritage.

03) Interdisciplinary value

Visible empire: botanical expeditions and visual culture in the Hispanic Enlightenment. (2012)

Between 1777 and 1816, botanical expeditions crisscrossed the vast Spanish empire in an ambitious project to survey the flora of much of the Americas, the Caribbean, and the Philippines. Through innovative interdisciplinary scholarship that bridges the histories of science, visual culture, and the Hispanic world, Bleichmar uses these images to trace two related histories: the little-known history of scientific expeditions in the Hispanic Enlightenment and the history of visual evidence in both science and administration in the early modern Spanish empire. As Bleichmar shows, in the Spanish empire visual epistemology operated not only in scientific contexts but also as part of an imperial apparatus that had a long-established tradition of deploying visual evidence for administrative purposes.

How illustration employs the environment to mediate with a human audience

Edward Abbey(1927-1989), a famous American writer on nature, once said, "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread."Illustration, as an important form of visual communication in modern design, plays the role of coordinator between the environment and human beings with its intuitive imagery, real sense of life and appeal of beauty. The following three parts are mainly from the theme of nature illustration, nature itself is illustration, and giving new life to materials to introduce how illustration plays the role of coordinator between the environment and human beings.Nature-themes illustration provides spaces the audience with connections to environment by recording, translating, and describing the nature.

01) Nature-themed illustration

Illustrations about the environment

[ Biodiversity ]

Biodiversity / Collaged papers on wall / Clare Celeste / 2020

Biodiversity (2020)

Clare Celeste is an artist and environmentalist. She works with thousands of hand-cut images of flora and fauna to create immersive installations that are evocative of our planet’s threatened biodiversity. She is dedicated to raising awareness and action around the ecological and biodiversity crisis. Despite the vibrancy and lively qualities of the three-dimensional collages, Clare Celeste uses her artworks to reflect on the ongoing climate crisis and destruction of biodiversity, commentary that’s laced with themes of decay and death. She explains: This came into focus for me when I made a series of collages and then later realized that many of the species in the vintage illustrations had already gone extinct. Humanity has wiped out 68% of all our planet’s biodiversity since 1970, so working with vintage illustrations can be very heartbreaking as much of the diversity in these gorgeous old naturalist prints has been wiped out by human activity.

[ Box Dioramas ]

Multiple Box Dioramas Combinations / Watercolor, paper, thread, and pins in antique box / Allison May Kiphuth / 2020

Multiple Box Dioramas Combinations (2020)

The Spectators / Ink, watercolor, paper and thread in an antique box / Allison May Kiphuth / 2015

The Spectators (2015)

“Defense” in progress / Watercolor, paper / Allison May Kiphuth / 2020

“Defense” in progress (2020)

Allison May Kiphuth is an artist and lifelong nature enthusiast based in Maine. shrinks the expansive landscapes found throughout the eastern United States into picturesque dioramas brimming with natural life by squeezing them into small wooden boxes scarcely a few inches wide. Her mixed media dioramas are constructed from layered ink and watercolor illustrations assembled with pins and string inside antique boxes. The content of each artwork varies from piece to piece from underwater scenes of sea life, to tiny worlds populated by forest creatures.

[ Circular Fruits ]

Orange / Oil paints on canvas / 20 inches / Alonsa Guevara / 2017

orange (2017)

Left : Kiwi / Oil paints on canvas / 20 inches / Alonsa Guevara / 2015 Right : Pomegranate / Oil paints canvas /20 inches / Alonsa Guevara / 2015

Kiwi and pomegranate (2015)

Fruit Portraits Installation / Tondo oil painting, different sizes / Alonsa Guevara / 2014- 2017

Fruit Portraits (2014)

Alonsa Guevara is a New York based artist. Her paintings blur the lines between fantasy and reality while celebrating the connection between humankind and nature. A big part of her inspiration derives from her childhood spent living in the Ecuadorian rainforest with her family, growing up surrounded by tropical landscapes and a diverse wildlife. Using round canvases with a range of diameters, Alonsa Guevara deftly paints the plump, juicy insides of oranges, watermelon, and other fruits. Each circular piece depicts a seemingly perfect slice down the middle, capturing the fibrous veins and central seeds found within fresh produce. “ I decided to paint the fruits cut open, revealing their insides, recreating and depicting all the incredible patterns, seeds, and infinite information they carry, which many people take for granted.”

02) Nature as illustration

Illustration using natural materials

[ Massive Artwork Painted on the Alpine Terrain ]

Beyond Crisis / Across 3,000-square meters / Saype / 2020

Beyond Crisis 01 (2020)

Beyond Crisis Zoom-in Shot / Across 3,000-square meters / Saype / 2020

Beyond Crisis 02 (2020)

Beyond Crisis Zoom-in Shot / Across 3,000-square meters / Saype / 2020

Beyond Crisis 03 (2020)

Beyond Crisis Process / Across 3,000-square meters / Saype / 2020

Beyond Crisis 04 (2020)

Beyond Crisis Process / Across 3,000-square meters / Saype / 2020

Beyond Crisis 05 (2020)

Across 3,000-square meters, “Beyond Crisis'' shows a little girl with a hand-drawn farandole circling around her. She peers across the mountainous region toward the horizon. The expansive piece is Saype’s encouraging response to the ongoing threat of COVID-19 worldwide. The artist began working on grassy landscapes in 2015 as a way to merge his penchant for land art and graffiti, which since has inspired an artistic movement. For his massive projects, Saype uses paint derived from natural materials like coal and chalk.

[ Dried Plants Pressed into Delicate Fauna Compositions ]

Dried plants pressed into stag beetle Zoom-in Shot / Helen Ahpornsiri / 2019

Dried plants pressed into stag beetle 01 (2019)

Dried plants pressed into stag beetle / Helen Ahpornsiri / 2019

Dried plants pressed into stag beetle 02 (2019)

Dried plants pressed into butterflies / Helen Ahpornsiri / 2016

Dried plants pressed into butterflies (2016)

England-based artist Helen Ahpornsiri, she grows and collects flora, foliage, and seaweeds which she preserves with traditional flower pressing methods before delicately re-imagining them into artworks. Flowers commonly considered weeds are unassuming yet familiar, they can be imbued in folk tales and personal connotations which resonate with people in different ways. She is interested in the idea of preserving plants like these and giving them a new narrative.

03) Giving materials a new life

Why do illustrators give materials a new life?

[ Mike Stilkey ]

Coex Staryard Library / Acrylics, Pens, Ink / Mike Stilkey / 2018

Coex Staryard Library (2018)

Nike Store in LA / Acrylics, Pens, Ink / Mike Stilkey / 2015

Nike Store (2015)

iPic Theaters / Acrylics, Pens, Inks / Mike Stilkey / 2016

iPic Theaters (2016)

Mike Stilkey from Los Angeles has been attracted to painting the book itself. If discarded books end up in his hands, they become something else entirely. He works with local libraries to give those books a second chance with his massive art installations. Stilkey arranges the faces and spines of books in groupings of varying size, ranging from a half dozen stacked together to thousands-tall-towers that fill public spaces. With a combination of colored pencil­­­­­ , ink, paint, and lacquer, he then paints lively characters using the books as his canvas.

[ Plastic ]

In the last 50 years, the use of plastic has increased twenty-fold. Disposal of these plastic wastes in landfill is considered a non-sustainable from the environmental point of view. These studies emphasized that plastics and other non-biodegradable materials will persist in the landfill. The impact of incinerating the plastics and other non-biodegradable materials is hazardous due to the release of more greenhouse gases than landfill. Therefore, the plastics waste disposal is a major global environmental problem.

Born in Palo Alto California in 1980, Hugo McCloud is one of the most prolific young artists working today. Hugo McCloud’s newest body of work touches on notions of class particularly through his use of plastic bags. His investigation into plastic began approximately five years ago after traveling to India and seeing multi-color polypropylene plastic sacks everywhere. Observing the downcycle of these bags from their creation, to the companies that purchased them for the distribution of products, to the trash pickers in Dharavi slums, McCloud saw how this ubiquitous material passed through the hands of individuals at every level of society. Sourcing his imagery from photographs of individuals working in developing countries. These representational works address issues concerning the economics of labor, geopolitics and the environmental impact of plastic. McCloud is giving new life to industrial materials and plastics as a tool to unite people and better understand our similarities and differences as a human race; to connect our environment; and to contribute to reversing the negative impact of our carbon footprint.

Hugo McCloud-environment

stair master, 2019 plastic merchandise bags on wood panel 75 x 69 inches (190.5 x 175.3 cm) signed by artist on label, verso HM-284

Hugo McCloud-environment

5 on #7, 2019 plastic merchandise bags on wood panel 73 x 71 inches (185.4 x 180.3 cm) HM-288

Hugo McCloud-environment

push pull, 2019 plastic merchandise bags on wood panel 55 x 85 inches (139.7 x 215.9 cm) signed by artist on label, verso HM-283

Hugo McCloud-environment

cycle, 2020 plastic merchandise bags on wood panel painting: 72 x 48 inches (182.9 x 121.9 cm) framed: 73 1/2 x 49 1/2 x 2 inches (186.7 x 125.7 x 5.1 cm) HM-292

Hugo McCloud-environment

[ Cement ]

In modern times, organic polymers are sometimes used as cements in concrete. World production is about four billion tonnes per year, of which about half is made in China. The initial calcination reaction in the production of cement is responsible for about 4% of global CO 2 emissions. The overall process is responsible for about 8% of global CO 2 emissions, as the cement kiln in which the reaction occurs is typically fired by coal or petroleum coke due to the luminous flame required to heat the kiln by radiant heat transfer. As a result, the production of cement is a major contributor to climate change. There are two of Jarrett Key's cement paintings that show the artist giving new connotation to used cement.

This painting depicts the woods behind Key's childhood home in Alabama. Chosen Family is a unique body of work that depicts members of Key’s chosen family in relationship to the natural splendor of landscapes that define the figure, lushly painted on wet cement. “Chosen family in the queer community refers to friends that become brothers and sisters, mentors that become parents,” says Key.

Jarrett Key-environment

Woods Back Home (Pines) - Diptych, 2020 Oil on Cement (Fresco) 26 × 40 in 66 × 101.6 cm

Jarrett Key-environment

This pond is Jon's childhood landscape, a space behind home. Taking on a fresco-like appearance, the use of cement conjures connotations of Black life, leisure, and stereotypes: the basketball court, the sidewalk, jail. By exposing the limits of public imagination in regards to Black life, Key’s bucolic images suggest land ownership, safety, and freedom within lush pastoral landscapes.

Jarrett Key-environment

Pond Back Home - Diptych, 2020 Oil on Cement (Fresco) 24 1/2 × 38 1/2 in 62.2 × 97.8 cm

Jarrett Key-environment

[Iron oxide]

Ohio has roughly 6,000 abandoned underground coal mines that leak acidic, metal-rich effluent into rivers and streams. Creating pigment from pollution When iron oxide separates from water, it’s a muddy sludge that is, it turns out, can be a useful pigment.

At TEDxWarwick 2017, John shared the story of his collaboration, Toxic Art, which involves creating paint from iron oxide extracted during the process of remediating polluted streams. An activist and environmentalist, Sabraw’s paintings, drawings and collaborative installations are produced in an eco conscious manner, and he continually works toward a fully sustainable practice. One of his current collaborations involves creating paint and paintings from iron oxide extracted in the process of remediating polluted streams. He is drawing on those dead rivers to create a new kind of life. Here, he shows us how they’re converting an environmental calamity into objects of beauty, one painting at a time.

John Sabraw


John Sabraw


John Sabraw


Basia Irland‘s art often involves facilitating and fostering connections – with rivers and with each other. “The idea of interconnectedness has been one of the central themes of my water work for over forty years. Water issues are vast and present intricately complex problems. I think that the solutions and suggestions for actions lie in a diversity of approaches. It will take all of us working together cooperatively to come to the assistance of bodies of water around the globe. In this radically interconnected world it behooves each of us to compassionately take care of each other and our environment, because we are one and the same.” In her pioneering inter-disciplinary practice, Basia Irland focusses on rivers and watersheds, water scarcity, climate change, ecological restoration and waterborne diseases. Her poetic, socially-engaged work endeavours to reconnect people with their local waterways in order to foster care, appreciation and responsibility.

Basia Irland

River Reverie. 2015. Photo by Bert Janssen.

Basia Irland

Basia Irland has created a new three-plate (gravure, etching, and aquatint) limited-edition print, River Reverie, for the Museum De Domijnen.

Fremont Cottonwood (Populus fremontii) at dusk. 2009.

Basia Irland


Lizan Freijsen is fascinated by fungi and our attempt to ban moulds and moisture spots from our everyday environment. In the project ‘Decay on demand’ photos of leakages were transformed into wallpapers and installed primarily in new houses in order to give them a history. Changing something ugly into products of value is Freijsen’s way of recycling what is already present. Traces of decay find their way back inside also as interior objects, in order to remind us of what we tend not to see. By turning moisture stains into textiles, Lizan Freijsen focuses on these blind spots and visualizes their beauty.

studio lizan freijsen

studio lizan freijsen

The dutch artist captures a moment in time and transforms something ugly into valuable objects through a unique production process that combines her long-term research on color and form with the time-consuming craft of hand tufting. Embracing imperfection is in fact a respond to the overcontrolled society in which we live. People witnesse the beauty of the slow growing process of the fungi pattern, surrounded by the natural environment of the city, connecting the inner time with a sense of home.

The importance of illustration to mediate between the environment and a human audience

In 1956, the British author C. P. Snow pointed out the cultural divide between humanists and scientists in The Two Cultures. In the modern concept, "nature" often stands opposed to the truth and true "science" and is the object of scientific research. But today we are more aware that human civilization has never been able to stay out of nature; The fragile nature of ecology and the impact of human behavior have caused the continuous destruction of natural environment ecology, which is an urgent issue for all living creatures to face. The potential gift of "Anthropocene" is that it allows "Anthropos" to jump out of classical anthropology and humanities, and thus to be placed in a broader field and vision, and to rethink nature, human beings and the relationship between them from the perspective of illustration design. And better understand a world facing unprecedented man-made environmental disasters.

01) How can illustration make people feel

The art illustration of environment and ecology can make the audience have artistic resonance, and the audience can feel the surround of nature and the positive praise and emotion of the human audience towards nature.

[ H&M &William Morris ]

Strawberry Thief, 1883, William Morris (1834-1896) V&A Museum no. T.586-1919 Techniques - Indigo-discharged and block-printed cotton Place - London, England Dimensions - Height 60.5 cm, Width 95.2 cm

Strawberry Thief

Strawberry Thief is one of William Morris's most popular repeating designs for textiles. It takes as its subject the thrushes that Morris found stealing fruit in the kitchen garden of his countryside home, Kelmscott Manor, in Oxfordshire. To print the pattern Morris used the painstaking indigo-discharge method he admired above all forms of printing.

A draft of Willow

Tulip and Willow, using the indigo discharge technique, sketches and finished products are compared.

Morris &CompanyXH&M

Trellis, which depicts roses climbing on a lattice, was designed by William Morris and his friend Philip Webb in 1862, and is shown in four color schemes in a sample book.

"Morris &Company prints are among the most recognized and loved in the world, and William Morris was not only synonymous with the Arts and Crafts Movement, but also a strong advocate of beautiful design. We are delighted to be working with this iconic British brand and to be able to share these designs with our customers, "said Pernilla Wohlfahrt, Design Director at H&M. Through the cooperation with William Morris, a veteran British artist, H&M, which is popular with the young generation, can let people appreciate the environment and the design derived from nature. These illustrations can make us feel close to nature and help the young generation get familiar with the beauty of nature.

02) How can illustration make people act

Illustrations about environmental ecology will make the audience care about nature and think about the future vision of the ecological environment. With the improvement of artistic vision and the birth of new creative thinking, new artists try to make plants and paintings communicate.

[ Tim Knowles ] -The wind is up, hence the tree painting.

Dragon Spruce Ink on paper and C-Type prints 8000 x 2200 x 300mm 2012

Tim Knowles-The wind is up, hence the tree painting (2021)

Buttermere Shore, Cumbria, UK 29/02/2006 Ink on Paper and C-type print 790 x 980mm + 790 x 590mm

Tim Knowles-The wind is up, hence the tree painting (2021)

24/08/2005 Ink on paper [stretched over MDF panel] 10 panels each 2340 x 1600 x 33mm 100 pens attached to the branches of a Weeping Willow tree draw onto a circular disc 5.1 metres in diameter and made up of 10 segments.

Tim Knowles-The wind is up, hence the tree painting (2021)

Stonethwaite Beck, Smithymire Island, Borrowdale, Cumbria

Tim Knowles-The wind is up, hence the tree painting (2021)

Elements that exist in nature are transformed into works of art. What can we feel from the painting of trees, the sound of the sea, the twinkling of clouds and the warm sun if we transform the elements existing in nature into works of art? Maybe they'll give you the answer. Tim Knowles, a British artist, tied a sketch pen to a tree branch and put a paper on a drawing board to record the natural movement of the tree branch as it swayed in the breeze. The interesting conceptual work hides a man's loneliness and whimsical view of the natural world around him, trying to reproduce the beauty of the power of nature in the form of art.

[ Heidi Norton ]

Heidi Norton, Radiation Jungle, 2014, archival pigment print. 30 x 24 inches. All images courtesy of Monique Meloche Gallery.

Heidi Norton and Michael Marder (2021)

Heidi Norton, Radiation Jungle, 2014, archival pigment print. 30 x 24 inches. All images courtesy of Monique Meloche Gallery.

Heidi Norton and Michael Marder (2021)

Cryogenics and the Lucky Bamboo, 2015. Glass, resin, vinyl, bamboo, acrylic, dichroic glass, silicon, wood stands.

Heidi Norton (2021)

Heidi Norton is a New York-based artist whose 1970s upbringing as a child of New Age homesteaders in West Virginia resulted in a strong connection to the land, plant life and nature. She works regularly with materials of varying transparency such as resin, glass, and wax in a way that preserves, encases, and displays embedded plant life and organic forms.

"Artist Heidi Norton and I share an abiding interest in all things plants. During several conversations we had while I was profiling her for Art Ltd., we often talked about the relationship between art and gardening. Heidi incorporates living plant matter directly into her sculptures and has used various types of houseplants in her New Age Still Life photographs, along with the more recent series of images shown in her show Not To See the Sun at Ebersmoore last month (April 2011). Heidi and I have continued to talk about the relationship of art, plants, and gardening, and as the next iteration of what has become an ongoing exchange, we’ve decided to conduct a series of interviews with other artists to further explore those connections. Voila: Mantras for Plants, a new, irregularly appearing series of posts." -Claudine Ise

03)How can illustration make natural audiences feel

The chain reaction of the series makes the audience begin to try to communicate with nature through the form of illustration and perceive the emotional communication between plants and illustrators. As an illustrator, the communication and emotional communication with plants today and in the future has become a new trend in the illustration art industry.

[ Marc Majewsk ] - How does earth feel?

Marc Majewsk-does earth feels?

Marc Majewsk-does earth feels?

Marc Majewskiis a French author-illustrator based in Berlin. As a child, Marc discovered a passion for drawing and painting through the works of Gustave Doré, Maurice Sendak, Quint Buchholz, and symbolist painters. After obtaining a degree in literature and arts, he studied illustration and painting for two years. Marc’s first book, Un Beau Voyage, was published in 2016. Marc is passionate about the environment and loves painting landscapes and scenes from the natural world.

[ Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg ] - illustrations made for bees

Preparatory sketch by the artist, 2020. © Dr Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg.

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg - illustrations made for bees

Preparatory sketch by the artist, 2020. © Dr Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg.

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg - illustrations made for bees

Dr Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg said, “I want to make an artwork for pollinators, not about them. We’re creating a digital artwork made from living plants, exploring how the audience of an artwork can be more-than-human, and asking how art can be useful in the ecological crisis. The Eden Project is the perfect partner for this interspecies art experiment and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with their experts and learn from them.” The project will also involve collaborating with Eden’s expert network of horticulturists, scientists and consultants. This includes the National Wildflower Centre which is based at the Eden Project, Eden’s master beekeeper Rodger Dewhurst and pollination consultant David Goulson. In addition, machine-learning expert and string theory physicist, Dr. Przemek Witaszczyk of Jagiellonian University, Kraków, will help develop the algorithms behind the planting programme.

The artist's ambition is to extend this web function into a global platform for creative activism, and Ginsberg is currently in conversation with the Eden Project and multiple international partners to realize this vision. Selected by a curatorial panel of leading voices in the worlds of art and culture, Ginsberg’s artwork will be an ambitious large-scale installation.


No matter in the past or at present, the development of Human culture and technology is inseparable from the exploration and research of nature. Illustration depicts plants, animals and the environment on canvas, from macroscopic to microscopic, and makes the knowledge accessible for all audiences. Even in the modern age of photography, illustrations are still essential to communicate information. They are irreplaceable because of their ability to translate concepts, thoughts and imaginations into visuals that allow audiences to feel and understand the natural world from different angles. -Ting Zhou

I was impressed by the fact that illustration can play a role in connecting the environment and the human audience in various ways through this reader project. I hope as an illustrator this Illustration & Environment will be an opportunity for the audience to think again about the environment that may have been a little forgotten from their heart. -Yejin Ham

Environmental projects are the subject of my life. I hope to play a vital role as a visual communicator in the future, so that the audience can more clearly understand the importance of the environment. -Jiahui Wang

The study of the reader allows me to have a deeper understanding and pioneering thinking in the field of illustration and environment research. Illustration today and in the future is playing an important role in the field of art, is broad and conductive. I think illustration has more sentimental value than photography and science as the modern world’s understanding of the environment and ecology. It sustains the emotion of the illustrator and nature. In the future, I will continue to study and expand the importance of illustration design to the environment. -Yu Zhang