When Antidote stumbled across the newly launched The Earth Issue, we knew we needed to speak to them. A beautifully curated print magazine, The Earth Issue is dedicated to using art and image as a driving force for environmental activism; as such, is the epitome of Antidote’s vision – particularly during our Anthropocene focused quarter. We spoke to Elena Cremona, the Founder of the magazine; herself, an environmental and landscape photographer whose work has a dreamy and inescapably melancholic feel that is hard not to be mesmerized by. Graduating with first class Honours Bachelor Degree in Fine Art Photography from the prestigious Arts University Bournemouth, it’s not hard to see why she is enjoying enormous support and success in all her endeavours.
Like Antidote, your opening statement of The Earth Issue ‘About Us’ section presents: ” A collective of artists and creative professionals working at the intersection of fine art and environmentalism.” Why did you choose fine art as the tool for a means of expression? Why do you think it is so powerful when addressing environmental issues?
To me, art and any form of creation has always been the truest form of expression. It comes natural to me that I pick up a camera and try to represent Mother Nature in an artistic form, to me it’s fine art photography. I have always found that art has the ability to influence the viewer’s mind in a way that no other medium can. It teaches about the issues presented in a visual manner – it is the idea that it portrays something real and therefor true, and inherently has the ability to document our reality. For me it’s not enough to just be worried about our planet, I want to actively be someone who is involved in the movement.
Tell us about your work as a landscape and environmental photographer. Did you always love photography and the environment? How did you fall into this as a career?
I have always found great inspiration in nature. There is great romance in solitude; in being isolated from society and being deeply immersed within nature.
To me it’s absolute bliss.
Photography always acted as a tool of connecting emotions and memories to me – and most of my most precious memories were made in nature. It’s an instant connection for me, to pair nature and photography. It’s a personal journey and Mother Earth constantly guides me. I studied photography at the Arts University in Bournemouth, where I realized that I wanted to use my work as a tool to awaken consciousness and create a sense of awareness and respect for our irreplaceable landscapes.
Why do you have a special affection for rocks? Is geology something that you have ever studied or plan to? Also, what is your favourite rock?!
I couldn’t tell you exactly why I have such affection for rocks – it’s just always been like that. Perhaps it’s the link to the foundation of the earth, the origin of it all. The fact that they come in all shapes and forms, all colours and teach us so much about the earth we live on. I mean – there’s so much history in one little rock, a whole life journey!
I was meant to study Oceanography in Southampton but decided to go for photography instead! My favourite rocks are moon rocks, as well as crazy intricate lava rocks.
How did the creation of The Earth Issue come about? We’re so impressed you’ve managed to put together a stunning publication and assemble such a great team. Was it a long time coming?
It all started by trying to make sense of all the different aspects that we are born into. I’ve always found it hard to understand society and the constant preoccupation with needing material things rather than appreciating the planet we inhabit. Humanity has shifted their definition of what it means to be a visitor on Mother Earth’s home. We are now driven by power, money and exploitation, where greed seems to be put above the wellbeing of our planet. I’ve been wanting to create a platform for artists making work directly inspired by nature for a while now, having been involved in previous exhibitions (YOU WILL END BY DESTROYING THE EARTH) that deal with raising awareness for such an important issue.
The Earth Issue 001 publication is a collaboration between Maela Ohana, founder of the Archive Collective, and myself – having come together for our mutual love for the environment. The Earth Issue started as a printed publication and has now grown into a collective of creative professionals working at the intersection of fine art and environmentalism. Organizing exhibitions, workshops, competitions, and educational talks – we hope to challenge the mind set of society, to inspire and harness the power of social change and, most of all, to evoke an emotional and tactile connection between Nature and us.
Most of all, The Earth Issue is about trying to unite all the wonderful nature loving artists and giving them a platform to showcase how influential nature truly is.
What’s the vision for you now? Will The Earth Issue continue and if so, are you planning to expand?
We will be ever expanding our collective as a creative platform through publications, exhibitions, educational talks and other collaborative projects. Our aim is to bring art to the forefront of climate change discussion. At The Earth Issue, we believe that creativity is one of the most powerful tools to effect social change. We want to enable artists who are passionate about nature to unleash their creativity on to the world and stand up for the preservation of our planet. Our Values lie in: Collaboration, nature preservation, sustainability, creativity, integrity, innovation and the educational benefits of art.
Our next exhibition opens Wednesday, 6th of April, and is by Adam Popli. Adam’s Eden explores unique relationship with nature through the creationist concept of Eden – and is open to the public from April 7 – May 20 at Tea Leaf London.