This interview was conducted by Selva Ozelli
What are you working on now?
I have been exhibiting my art shows around the World. I just launched my second solo art show Sea Watcher 2 – Maskuary for #Tiredearth’s #Maskuary Campaign. This campaign is supported by The CUHK Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change; the Institute of International Knowledge Management (TIIKM); the United Nations for World Oceans Day1, Oceanic Global World Oceans Day 2021 Art Gallery - Oceanic Global as well as Pinelo Art Gallery artists Selva Ozelli, Fatma Kadir and Ilhan Sayin.
The #MASKUARY campaign raises awareness of the environmental pollution from single use plastic face mask disposals with the risk of contamination and infection it creates. The launch of the #Maskuary Campaign art shows will take place at 2021 London Climate Action Week with the support of the CUHK Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change2. These art shows will also be part of TIIKM’s “Health in the Arts and Humanities” Fine Art & Humanities Conference that will take place in Srilanka during September 21-22, 20213.
Semine Hazar Sea Watcher 2 - Maskuary
The paintings in my art shows have been selected in the following United Nations Art Contests:
- World Unity: https://www.talenthouse.com/i/create-artwork-that-captures-world-unity/submissions;
- Global Goals: https://www.talenthouse.com/i/capture-one-of-the-un-global-goals-and-inspire-others-to-take-positive-action/submissions.
How has this year been so far, what worked well, what didn’t move as quickly as you would have liked?
I have been channeling my energy positively, into artistic expression. So far this year my art shows have been exhibited at:
- The Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change Hong Kong4;
- 7th Session of Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development5;
- 7th Asian Pacific Adaptation Forum;
- 2021 EU Africa Business Forum;
- 2021 World Wetlands6 Water7 and Oceans8;
- 2021 Earthday.Org9;
- 2021 World Migratory Bird Day10;
- 2021 World Oceans Day 2021 Art Gallery - Oceanic Global;
- 2021 The Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week;
- 2021 World Environment and Oceans Day – Pinelo Art Gallery;
- 2021 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought11;
- Give to Corona Art Show, Pinelo Art Gallery;
- 2021 London Climate Action Week12;
- 2021 Fine Arts and Humanities Conference TIIKM13.
Semine Hazar Sea Watcher
What do you hope to express in your “Sea Watcher 1 & 2” digital art exhibitions?
The inspiration behind my art shows “Sea Watcher 1 & 2” was my trip to the Antarctic in 2017 where I firsthand witnessed the melting of the ice and with a great sound crash into the sea. This brought tears to my eyes.
According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): “More than 90% of the warming that has happened on Earth over the past 50 years has occurred in the ocean.” Oceans are warming at the same rate as if five Hiroshima bombs were being dropped into them every second. This has contributed to the rise of sea levels from the melting of ice sheets in the Arctic, which is also warming faster than the rest of the world.
Crumbling coastal communities enveloped in raging wildfires; melting icebergs crashing into the sea with thunderous sound; homeless penguins are the most visible effects of melting glaciers and sea ice in the polar regions. Scientists are also learning about less obvious but still alarming results of this shift: the wider spread of wildlife disease and contaminants into the ecosystem as melting ice allows pathways to open in the Arctic, people and animals to use these routes to access previously inaccessible areas according to a recent study in the journal Scientific Reports.
Diminished sea ice allows contaminants to travel between nations via ice, which can transport a wide variety of contaminants ranging from anthropogenic pollutants like oil, lead, mercury, and microplastics, to dust, sediments, aerosol deposits, algae, and even biological communities. The possible roles of permafrost melting, atmospheric transport, and solar irradiance in the development of the Coronavirus pandemics has been explored in a recent study by Anne M. Hofmeister, James M. Seckler and Genevieve M. Criss.
The enormous environmental damage from the melting artic as a result of climate change which contributed to the spread of the pandemic, resulted in enormous single use PPE disposals, which eventually found their way into our Oceans, damaging the lives of sea creatures.
My late husband was a captain. Captains determine their sea routes based on the silent light signals from the lighthouses in the sea. With my sea and lighthouse themed paintings, I want to draw attention to the importance of oceans to our world, our ecology and the need for us to guard them, as oceans cover 70% of the surface our world. I want the silent signals from the lighthouses to be visible to all of us not only captains of our world.
What influenced you to paint about environmental matters and please explain the role of Islam in your decision?
With my “Sea Watcher 1 & 2” lighthouse themed painting series, I wanted to draw attention to the damage humans are having on our oceans, seas, environment and how we are failing in our responsibilities to the next generations of beings of our earth. Islam was not an influence on my paintings.
What are your plans?
I hope to continue making climate change themed artwork and exhibit at the upcoming UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15)14 and UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).
How can people find out more about what you are working on?