It has been an unprecedented year which started with raging wildfires in Australia that pushed CO2 levels to 26 times higher than acceptable levels. Siberia registered the most extreme recorded heat temperatures. And COVID-19 -- the most devastating plague to ravage humankind this century -- rapidly spread all around the world in a border blind fashion along with the higher levels of CO2. Like many others, my lifestyle changed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and quarantine. This brought out the artist and curator in me, allowing me for the first time to express my thoughts and feelings about climate change and COVID-19 via paintings in addition to my articles this year.
I took my first step as a curator by curating a brochure for TRVST.world Change Maker and artist Rana Balkis for her “Infinite Possibilities” series. Since our atelier is grounds for talented artists and interesting artwork, this naturally leads me to curate:
“Atelier Teymur Rzayev’s First Digital Climate Change Art Show”, at Cem Ustuner’s Pinelo Art Gallery which launched during the weeks of United Nations World Environment, Ocean, Desertification, Days as registered United Nations digital events.
Our first group art show was published in the social media accounts of over 90 Museums, Culture Ministries and NGOs in over 30 countries around the world.
The success of the first art show I curated and participated in, lead me to curate 8 and participate in three more climate change and COVID-19 themed digital art shows – 2 group, 2 solo -- with paintings that have been acknowledged in six international art competitions this year so far.
I curated these art shows for our atelier artists based on my series of articles on digital technology adoption, solar energy and tax policies in the jurisdictions with the greatest carbon emissions.
The themes and launch dates of these art shows corresponded with United Nations International Days, since these days mark occasions to educate the general public on issues of concern, to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity as follows:
Clean Air for Blue Skies, September 7th, 2020
The successful reception of our first group art show encouraged atelier artists to launch a second digital art show titled “Clean Air for Blue Skies” only three months after the first one, on the very first International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies.
The second group show includes paintings of the seas, trees, flowers which are efficient carbon sinks– that alleviate CO2 pollution. It also includes paintings of urbanization, wildfires which enhance CO2 pollution that create adverse health effects including COVID-19, global warming and diminishment of biodiversity.
Semine Hazar -Lighthouse in a Storm , Sunset
Ilhan Sayin – Geranium in the Haze, Pink Breath of Spring
Gunay Isemova- Morning Haze
Selva Ozelli – Heartbreak Weather – Inertia in the Face of Wildfires, Wildfires in the Time of Corona
Fatma Kadir-Lonely Tree 1 & 2
Resul Uzay Rzayev- Silhouette, Glacier
Digital Art Show:
Parallel to the second group art show, I launched my second solo digital art show “Breathe Life” on the very first International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies to share my paintings of lonely trees, gardens and portraits of artists who were economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with their concert tours and art shows cancelled. This included composer and singer of “Heart Break Weather” Niall Horan (“Heartbreak Weather – Inertia in the Face of Wildfires”) and climate change artist Renan Kaleli (“Pollution”). These artists have turned to launch digital concerts and art shows this year, so I have included a portrait of the creator of 5G technology which is important to the digital economy Prof Erdal Arikan (“Pollution 2”). Finally, I wanted to support the good work of Climate Change heroine Greta Thunberg who said "You say children shouldn’t worry. You say: 'Just leave this to us. We will fix this; we promise we won’t let you down. And then — nothing. Silence. Or something worse than silence. Empty words and promises which give the impression that sufficient action is being taken. But inaction is fueling the flames by the hour.” Therefore, my “Breathe Life” art show also includes the portrait of an innocent child who deserves to inherit clean air and blue skies, Can Kir (“Wildlife”).
World Patient Safety Day, WHO September 17, 2020
In my first solo art show “Art in the Time of Corona” which I am relaunching on World Patient Safety Day, I explored whether Climate Change caused by carbon emissions might be one reason for such a terrible global COVID-19 pandemic which spread around the world like a tsunami in a border blind fashion alongside heightened CO2, penetrating deep into our respiratory and circulatory systems damaging our lungs, to the point where we become highly vulnerable to the coronavirus.
For this art show, I made paintings to remind us of the importance of appreciating, respecting: life of all who inhabit this world – not only humans; our friendships- including with plants, animals; those who bring technological innovations that make life easier for humans; those who put their lives on the line to save ours – like Dr Esma Akin, Chief of Nuclear Medicine at George Washington Hospital in DC, a COVID-19 hotspot-- as we collectively face and are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
To raise funds for the orphans of health care professionals who lost their lives to COVID-19 (see brochure for my artwork) atelier artists Serife Akkan, Fatma Kadir, and I donated artwork to the Portakal Cicegi Project. Our artwork will be on sale at www.portart.org from Sep 15 to Oct 15, 2020.
World Maritime Day, September 24, 2020
Semine Hazar explored the theme of artic melting in her solo art show “Sea Watcher” which she is relaunching on World Maritime Day.
The inspiration behind Semine’s art show “Sea Watcher” was her trip to the Antarctic in 2017 where she first hand witnessed the melting of the ice and with a great sound crash into the sea. This brought tears to her eyes.
Semine’s late husband was a captain. Captains determine their sea routes based on the silent light signals from the lighthouses in the sea. With her sea and lighthouse themed paintings, Semine wants to draw attention to the importance of oceans to our world as the largest carbon sink, our ecology and the need for us to guard them. She wants the silent signals from the lighthouses to be visible to all of us not only captains of our world.
World Habitat Day, October 5, 2020
Serife Akkan explored the theme of urbanization and its impact on the environment in her solo art show “One Door One Hundred Trees” which she is relaunching on World Habitat Day. With her art show, Serife wants to bring attention to, to set alarm bells about the destruction humans are making to their environment. Particularly since she first hand witnessed the rapid urbanization occurring in Istanbul during her lifetime.
World Migratory Bird Day, October 10, 2020
Fatma Kadir explored the theme of biodiversity in her solo art shows Bird Watching 1 & 2 which is relaunching 1 and launching 2 to commemorate Biodiversity in Birds which are important plant pollinators and seed dispersers.