By harnessing the revolutionary power of blockchain technology, NFTs have the capacity to impact countless viewers across the world. Perhaps for this reason, a wave of NFT artists have turned their craft toward the global effort to combat climate change, an issue that necessitates large-scale cooperation and mobilization.
Any discussion of climate action, however, cannot be had without women at the table. Women and girls bear the brunt of climate change, often having less access to natural resources while simultaneously being disproportionately responsible for securing food, water and fuel. Unless gender inequality is addressed, a sustainable future will remain a dream.
It was therefore all the more perplexing when a 2021 study revealed that women only account for 16 percent of the NFT art market. While this disparity is representative of gender gaps both in the world of crypto and in the climate movement, women are refusing to let statistics stop them from using art to help save the planet.
The following six artists, all finalists in the DigitalArt4Climate Art Competition, are not only pioneers in the burgeoning field of NFTs, but they are also powerful examples of how woman across the globe using their voices and talents to build a brighter future.
The artist behind Black Pretzel, Gemma Quevedo has studied drawing, painting, screen printing and ceramics at La Llotja Art and Design Academy and Eina Art School in Barcelona, and continues to explore her craft by participating in exhibitions and local art fairs.
In her piece entitled The Mourn, Quevedo depicts an intimate scene between a woman and a dying bird through a visual language that rests between the familiar and the otherwordly.
"This is the mourning for all living creatures who are suffering because of climate change and because of the human impact in this dying world,” says Quevedo of her piece. “Maybe if we can feel it, we may try to do something about it. I wish there was hope."
Judit Canela is trained in drawing, designing, cartooning and painting, and has pursued her studies at The Pompeu Fabra and the Barcelona School of Design. With each subject and character, Canela's work is imbued with a sense of wonder and vintage whimsy.
With clean lines, flat planes and a minimal colour palette, her piece Sea Awakening is a poignant reflection on the climate crisis through the eyes of the artist.
"My goal is to raise awareness about climate change impacts through my intimate point of view. My intention is to evoke with a subtle sense of poetry, the idea of fragility and hope. I want these images to operate on a profound, transformative level,” says Canela.
Working in both figurative illustration, painting and recycled mixed precious metals, Kat Hassell works as an illustrator for a design studio and specializes in digital portraiture. Through her dynamic and evocative style, Hassell pulls in the viewer, prompting them to reflect on the state of the environment.
Her piece entitled Storm is no different, the warped skull and dramatic design confronting us with the grim consequences of climate inaction in the face of an ever worsening crisis.
“Storm is a warning and represents untimely death — that of planet Earth and all who inhabit it. The skull, which has long been a symbol of mortality and the brevity and fragility of life, represents us all,” says Hassell. “It melts against a backdrop of a stormy planetary fireball, reminding us of the climate disaster unfolding around us."
Originally from Guatemala and now living in Barcelona, Nicolle Rockstroh is a graphic designer and illustrator who is passionate about raising awareness for environmental and social issues through art. Taking inspiration from nature, music and movies, her unique subjects and surreal landscapes mesmerize and embolden the viewer.
Her work Lightlifting is a dynamic composition of geometric shapes and bold colours pieced together to weave a story of interconnectivity in the face of crisis.
"Now is the time to unlearn our harmful behaviors, lift others up and take action," says Rockstroh. "We need each other. And we need to be the kindest, most empathy-gleaming version of ourselves."
Nico Lob is a graphic designer and digital storyteller who pulls together diverse stylistic influences and ties them together with warm, vivid colour palettes. Inspired by Western cartoons and Asian animation, Lob balances oddity and cuteness in the magical worlds that she constructs.
Lob brings her characteristic peculiarity to her work Final Stage, a piece that communicates the dire need to take action against the forces that are destroying our planet.
"The planet is facing a harsh sentence to death, a miserable disease. We must be the cure. The color, the shapes, the beauty, and life is vanishing in front of our eyes. Do not let this disease reach the final stage," says Lob.
The work of Elena Gris can best be described as an elegant marriage between the natural and digital worlds. Her love of storytelling, nature and art inspires her to make her "flower paintings", and she even hopes to open the first flower shop in the Metaverse.
In her piece Sunflower Crying, Gris draws our attention to the suffering that the planet is currently undergoing as a result of humanity's disconnect from the environment.
"The delicate silent flowers connect the inner me to you, the outside world and the nature which is in danger. My intention is to observe the beauty of flora as an attempt to understand how the ecosystems are out of sync so that we can better comprehend our common destiny and take climate action," says Gris.
To learn more about the DigitalArt4Climate Art Competition, click here.