How Ethical is Your Art Practice?

I was drawn to talk about this subject since I was recently invited to exhibit my work at an event which focuses on ethical products. I was asked the question “What makes your brand ethical?”. I really had to think hard about this question … I mean REALLY hard. It forced me to look at every stage in my process from buying my materials to the type of paint I use. I was quickly ushered into a full MOT on my business ethics from a sustainable point of view and as far as I could see there was so much more room for improvement.

I guess this was inevitable seeing as I am gravitating towards a more vegan lifestyle, so it was only a matter of time before the universe guided me towards extending that invitation to look more closely at how I can produce my art in a more ethical way.

My first port of call was the stained glass I use. I didn’t even know how it was made. Let’s just say I am grateful for the people who make the glass that I use as I never knew how labour intensive and potentially dangerous it can be. This then led me to look at what I do with my left over glass etc. – since I was already saving the small bits for craft events and workshops and pretty much had this one sorted (pat on the back to you Dionne) but could I do more? Before I knew it, I had opened up a can of worms for myself and began to sift through and see ways in how I could improve my current practices.

I started to “google” anything related to sustainable and ethical mosaic art and apart from the “picasette” way of creating mosaics I couldn’t really find much for artists similar to me using mostly glass. I know there must be loads out there but perhaps they are not using the words “sustainable” or “ethical” in their descriptions.

Now what I would like to see is more artists, especially in my industry, taking a look at the whole process of how they create their art. Can you team up with another artist where you can utilise each other’s bi-products? Can you use less water by using a different method? Can you source a paint that is environmentally friendly? There are so many things you can look at in order to minimise the damage to the environment around you and to sustain the world we live in.

We can all do our bit to reduce our carbon footprints and I feel this is only the beginning of my journey to more ethical habits.

If this message resonates with you, it may resonate with someone else – so please SHARE and let’s make this a global movement.

To see my ethical art I invite you to We Are Fashion Revolution hosted by award winning clothing designer Kitty Ferreira. The pop up shop will be opening on 23 April to 6 May where you can purchase all ethical products from clothing to art and everything in between.

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