Currently in its seventh exhibition at the Atlantic Wharf Gallery in downtown Boston, the group show Shared Habitat Earth is a vibrant and eclectic collection of works all connected to the central theme of combating climate change. The words “Shared Habitat Earth” came to local artist Barbara Eskin while walking through the woods, and the meaning behind them was revealed through conversations with her creative community. The intent of the show is to interweave art and activism, using the works as a way to inspire viewers into action, all the while keeping them grounded in their empathy and humanity. In the show’s description: Shared Habitat Earth (SHE) suggests cross species respect, intercultural solidarity and a shared sense of responsibility, and, in the face of enormous threats to our habitat, it calls for action. The 40 artists in the exhibition use their creativity to fight against discouragement in the face of the daunting task of stopping climate change, and the strength of emotion displayed is palpable.
One of the first pieces in the exhibition is an interactive installation created by Eskin and several other SHE artists titled “Give Green a Chance.” Visitors are presented with two canvases covered in photographs and are invited to remove images of drought ravaged landscapes to reveal a lush green painting underneath. The written description provides messaging about what people can do to fight climate change and asks the viewer to choose an action. There are several levels to this, choosing which piece to remove, seeing what’s underneath, and contemplating how the viewer can act.