Planetary Limits Online Exhibition

“Growth is the measure of energy consumption and the measure of the destruction of nature. The more energy we consume, the more nature we destroy, the more growth increases.
Ecology and growth are not compatible.

You have to look reality in the face, know what you’re up against. The trajectory we are on is a trajectory of collapses in the plural. The collapse of life and biodiversity is already here.

The acceleration of climate change is reaching the dramatic proportions that scientists predicted and will threaten the habitability of most of the land on earth for humans.

We are on this path of collapse because we are exploding the planetary limits. So we have to change the economic model to return to a model where we have a neutral ecological footprint, that is to say where each year we do not consume more than what the planet can provide.

How do we go from the current situation of exploding planetary limits to respecting them?

We cannot do this without a profound cultural change. This change is at work today. The society has entered into a new awareness about the need to act and to change our lifestyles. And this change in our lifestyle is more and more experienced not as a sacrifice, but as a positive choice, as a liberation.

This is the beginning of a break with the dominant ideology, or what matters is what you possess and to always have more money.”

Excerpt from a January 2020 interview with Delphine Batho, French politician, member of the National Assembly, and former Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development, and Energy


Kirsten Aaboe, Deborah Alastra, Marianne Bickett, Marie Cameron, Christina Conklin, Jennifer Downey, Cynthia Fusillo, Sayaka Ganz, Michele Guieu, Marianela de la Hoz, Pascal Ken, Michael Kerbow, Nancy D Lane, Eric Meyer, Teresa Mill, Ivan Sigg, Marcela Villaseñor, Lotte Van De Walle, Carl Yoshihara



Fading into the Mist? Really?

Oil and carbon ink on pellon

This image depicts a confused-looking man, sitting on an insubstantial cloud, looking backward, flummoxed, and unaware of the precarious position he is in.
  • Kirsten Aaboe

Rainbow Road (Shaver Lake)

Found photograph, silk thread
5 3/4” x 3 1/2”

The forests are the lungs of our planet. Now the forests are in our lungs.
  • Marie Cameron

Reach for the Moon

Found objects assemblage

The lower section of this work depicts the pollution of the Earth’s atmosphere based on climate inaction – dependence on fossil fuels, an increase in carbon dioxide, further global warming. In this scenario, we will eventually reach our planetary limit, a calamitous tipping point.

In contrast, the upper section imagines mountains, a cityscape, and, importantly, an individual reaching skyward. We cannot wait passively; climate action must start with each of us. We must ‘reach for the moon’ by living sustainably ourselves, inspiring others to join us, and encouraging the government to act in the interests of the future.

I am committed to sustainability in my art practice. I created this work from boards, orange tiles, rusted sheet metal, and miscellaneous pieces of rusted metal, including rods, bolts, spark plugs, and springs, all found on the streets of Melbourne.

Created at RiverStudios, which is managed by @creativespaces for the @cityofmelbourne. My found object wall sculptures and brooches are available from @incube8r Gallery, now online.
  • Nancy D Lane

When the Ice is Gone

Sculptures made of plastic, digital photograph

Polar bears are in grave danger because the ice, which is the very ground they stand on, has disappeared. Their desperate struggle is not far at all from where we may find ourselves soon. With our insatiable commercial hunger, we could completely deplete the earth’s natural resources. Then we may find that the earth unconditional supported has disappeared from underneath our feet. Listen to the soundtrack here.
  • Sayaka Ganz

Part of “Late Capitalism” series

Yet another allegory about climate change and its impact upon our landscape.
  • Michael Kerbow

New Growth – 2020 ReGrowth

30" × 40”

  • Deborah Alastra

Sufriendo desde adentro y desde afuera.
Suffering from the inside and from the outside.

Egg tempera on board
8" x 8"

  • Marianela de la Hoz

Planetary Limits

Ephemeral compositionMade of natural elements found during daily walks in my neighborhood.

At some point, there is the realization that everything we do has an impact on Earth. Even making art. Thinking about what we do and trying to minimize our impact is a powerful way to reconnect to nature. This is not something we learn at school, this is not the way our culture makes us think about our relationship to nature. Because we are raised with this idea that Earth will provide indefinitely. And we seldomly talk about the destruction that goes with the exploitation. Learning about limits, planetary limits and the limit I may want to apply to my behavior is in a way liberating.

I love what Corinne Morel Darleux says in her Presage Podcast interview “Faced with the drying up of horizons, the dignity of the present”:

“There are a lot of fights that we fight not because we think we are going to win them but because we think they are fair: preserve what can still be, slowing down the destruction of living things. Feeling that you are contributing to a larger movement is a powerful motivation.”

Corinne Morel Darleux
  • Michele Guieu

Planetary Limits

Digital photo-collage

“Human activities increasingly influence the Earth’s climate and ecosystems. The Earth has entered a new epoch, the Anthropocene, where humans constitute the dominant driver of change to the Earth System. The exponential growth of human activities is raising concern that further pressure on the Earth System could destabilize critical biophysical systems and trigger abrupt or irreversible environmental changes that would be deleterious or even catastrophic for human well-being. This is a profound dilemma because the predominant paradigm of social and economic development remains largely oblivious to the risk of human-induced environmental disasters at continental to planetary scales.” From The Resilience Alliance “Planetary Boundaries: Exploring the Safe Operating Space for Humanity”.
  • Michele Guieu


Digital photograph

There is a broken-down farm nearby. When we see the rusting farm machinery being overrun by plants I am sad and yet deep inside I feel a sense of peace. The planet will survive. The earth will go on and reinvent itself. We may take ourselves and other species down in our descent, but the planet has no limits. Perhaps life on the planet will prevail in some way. Nature will, in the end, reclaim and turn our waste into something new. I am not truly as bleak as this sounds. For there are so many now who have courage and things are changing. Will it be in time and will it be enough? It’s up to us. Or one day the Mona Lisa or the statue of David or the Golden Gate Bridge will look like the truck in this photograph.

Thanks to all of you for each and every little thing you do every day that matters.
  • Marianne Bickett

Observer le Monde
Observing the World

Drawing on stone

Faire le tour d’une pierre comme on fait le tour de la terre. Découvrir le monde contenu dans la pierre et partager.

Go around a stone like one around the earth. Discover the world contained in the stone and share.
  • Ivan Sigg

Essential Compass 1
La Boussole de l’Essentiel

acrylic on book cover, digital collage

What’s essential in our life?
Do we still need more and more? What can we change?
Does Materialism bring happiness?
Slow Down 4R to Reduce Reuse Recycle and Respect!
Respect yourself and humankind, animals, plants, and minerals… La Loi des 4R.
  • Pascal Ken

Essential Compass 2
La Boussole de l’Essentiel

acrylic on book cover, digital collage

what’s essential in our life?
Do we still need more and more? What can we change?
Does Materialism bring happiness?
Slow Down
4R to Reduce Reuse Recycle and Respect!
Respect yourself and humankind, animals, plants,
and minerals…
  • Pascal Ken

Comprendre et connaître nos limites, les respecter
Understand and know our limits, respect them

Acrylique, spray, et feutres sur bois
Acrylic, spray, and markers on wood

  • Eric Meyer

The Death of Nature

Digital image collage

Ecofeminist – Philosopher, Carolyn Merchant reminds us, pre_Enlightenment, Nature was viewed as the benevolent mother of all things. It was the ‘dominion model of Scientific Revolution that placed this perspective, rationalizing and dissecting Nature to reveal her secrets. In having such secrets exposed, Nature became more vulnerable and hence easier to control. She speaks of this in her book, The Death of Nature. I have taken the liberty here to interpret this with a collaged digital image.
  • Cynthia Fusillo

Shifting Territories

Oil on paper
Detail of original, which measures 90" × 52”

Rivers and watersheds offer a micro-lens of humankind’s challenge to “live within our means” on a planet of finite resources. Facing the threat of ecological and climate collapse, we must find ways to balance the needs of ecosystems and species with those of us humans. In this painting, Delta Smelt and California Least Tern represent just two species affected by water projects in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This project is especially emblematic of the kinds of complex, multi-stakeholder water management conversations we are and will continue to face all over the world.
  • Jennifer Downey

Beautiful One

watercolor on paper
From the San Ignacio Series

This image of a somewhat emaciated young bull in a beautiful landscape makes me think of the imbalance created by factory farming, which separates us from the awareness that our food was once a sentient being like this. For everyone on the planet to eat beef is a completely unsustainable way for humans to feed themselves, both in terms of the destruction of pristine forests to graze cattle, as well as climate change.
  • Teresa Mill

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