SUSTAINABILITY

As part of my effort for ocean protection and awareness, I am a signatory to RISE UP. Powered by Oceano Azul Foundation, Ocean Unite, Oak Foundation and other institutions, this is a joint call to action from a broad group of civil society, fisher folk, Indigenous peoples, and philanthropic organisations directed to governments and businesses, urging them to take the actions required to set the ocean on a course to recovery.

Reducing my carbon footprint and increasing my handprint is something I've been working towards in both my personal and professional life. Working with environmental subjects led to looking into the integration of these principles in my practice also through the materials I use: 100% recycled cotton paper and natural pigments.

 

The reasons behind this choice are simple. One cotton t-shirt can require as much as 2700 litres of water to produce. The cotton industry depends heavily on pesticides, with workers and the environment exposed to them during the production process. This can lead to poison, birth defects, and death. The World Health Organisation estimated 1 million poisonings annually and 20,000 deaths from pesticide poisoning in 1990; the cotton industry uses a significant portion of these chemicals. Pesticides from farming eventually also go into our oceans. Industrial pigments used in most art supplies can be extremely hazardous to the environment during their productive stages as well as in the final product, which is often labeled as fish poisonous. Therefore, I turned to non-toxic, handmade natural pigments, either from mineral or botanical sources. I do some of the botanical pigments myself. I take all possible measures to limit the use of raw materials, and for this reason, I'll still use art supplies previously acquired.

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Lígia Oliveira © 2020