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Online exhibition curated by two Wimbledon graduates explores our relationship with the natural world

Colourful painting of a cassowary bird amongst trees
  • Written byEleanor Harvey
  • Published date 15 December 2021
Colourful painting of a cassowary bird amongst trees
Cassowary by Laura Ribbons.

Two graduates from Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL have curated an online exhibition examining our relationship with the natural world.

It’s What We Do Next brings together artists and designers from across creative disciplines, whose work tackles the ongoing threat of the climate crisis. It’s curated by Dominic Head and Laura Ribbons, both graduates of the BA (Hons) Fine Art: Painting course, 2012.

The show was launched last month to coincide with the COP26 summit and runs until 31 January 2022.

Painting of a large sun with an eyeball underneath
Eye and Sun by Paula Turmina. Courtesy of Laura Ribbons

Laura and Dominic understand that it can be hard to engage with the issues of the climate crisis, as it can feel overwhelming and completely out of our own control. However, they believe that the visual and emotional power of art is part of the solution.

Every participant in the show brings their own response to the crisis, and addresses different aspects; from changing our diet, preserving plants, protecting our oceans, and dealing with plastic pollution, to extreme heating and urban trees.

The exhibiting artists include several UAL alumni; Andrew Forkes (BA (Hons) Industrial Design Engineering, Central Saint Martins, 1990); Susana Soares (Art and Design Foundation, Camberwell, 2005), and Paula Turmina (BA (Hons) Fine Art: Painting, Wimbledon, 2016).

Painting of trees and cacti in blues, greens and purples
Onwards by Laura Ribbons.

Laura Ribbons’ large-scale, multi-layered watercolour paintings attempt to redress the balance between humans and the natural world, plants are brought to the fore as the central protagonists. Ribbons’ paintings ask for a reconsideration of our relationship with the natural world, for our own benefit and that of the planet.

Black and white photo of a person biting on a flat disk
Alternatives to Meat by Susana Soares and Andrew Forkes. Courtesy of Laura Ribbons

Susana Soares’ and Andrew Forkes’ designs explore practical and idiosyncratic methods of changing the way we eat. These works ask us to consider alternative proteins and sci-fi style scenarios alike to get our meat habit in check and dramatically reduce our carbon output.

Painting of feet standing on cracked, dry earth. In oranges, browns and red paints
Body Strata by Paula Turmina. Courtesy of Laura Ribbons

Paula Turmina’s prophetic paintings are the product of pigment ground from a stone found in the artist’s home-country of Brazil. The works consider Earth and all its elements as living beings, and imagine a dystopic near future, a red-hot planet, reminiscent of scenes of Mars. They explore the apparent human need to colonize and the dire consequences for us and the land.

Explore the exhibition

It's What We Do Next runs until 31 January 2022

Take a look at the exhibition:

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