What political, economic and social factors might be influencing practitioners of art in the west today?


Climate change, re-use, reduce, recycle, upcycling, waste influencing choice and use of materials. Movement away from consumerism to more thoughtful, mindful making and purchasing.

Artists using recycled materials:

  • TextileArtists
  • Stonecycling – WasteBasedBricks – recycling old bricks into handmade bricks for building facades, furniture
  • Tobias Horrocks – fold theory – re-formed cardboard installations
  • Re-evaluation/re-discovering traditional materials – bamboo, lotus leaf, pineapple, hemp fibres:
  • Pina Couture
  • Environmentally sensitive, environment-enhancing architecture (vertical forest buildings China), buildings constructed from recycled plastics (Africa).
  • Stefano Boeri – architect

Response to social and political issues

Capitalism vs socialism (Banksy/graffiti art), activism through art (Craftivists), art as conveying social message, building unity (Manchester bees)

Technology and new materials – artists have exciting new media and technologies to work with: