It is Zaria Forman’s life mission to convey the urgency of climate change through her art. Having traveled all over the world, she experienced emotion responses to the effects of climate change first hand, which she then transfers to the canvas. For her, art shows the tranquility of nature, allowing the audience to emotionally connect with a place even though they may have never visited it. She sounds like Kant and Plato when she says, “I choose to convey the beauty, as opposed to the devastation. If you can experience the sublimity of these landscapes, perhaps you’ll be inspired to protect and preserve them.” She has felt the power of the landscapes, and says the sheer size of nature is humbling. Through her composition, she can give the audience the same sense of awe that she experienced.
Zaria’s muse was her mother. As an artist, her mother inspired her to learn to draw at an early age. Zaria traveled all over the world with her mother, learning to focus on the positives in life rather than the negatives. As Zaria grew older, the mother-daughter duo planned an exhibition together with a number of artists and scholars. But her mother was suddenly diagnosed with brain cancer and passed away six months later. Zaria followed through with the exhibition as her mother would have wanted, collecting images and inspiration for new bodies of work along the way.
We take actions and make decisions based on our emotion above all else. Studies show that art impacts our emotions more than news reports and statistics. This is why Zaria has dedicated her career to illuminating climate scientists’ projections that would otherwise fall on deaf ears. Her art captures the beauty of what could possibly be lost with climate change. For her, art “inspires our global community to take action for the future.”
Link to the Ted Talk.