Our Decade of Change drop comprises 23 award-winning pieces that capture the defining issue of our time: the climate crisis
Decade of Change is an annual photography award and exhibition curated by leaders in art, science, activism and beyond. Last week, ART3 dropped 23 photographs by the award winners, each offering a unique take on the defining issue of our time: the climate crisis.
The NFTs are minted on Polygon, giving the process up to a 99 percent reduction in carbon emissions. The works are on sale as unique NFT editions of ten, with exclusive unlockable content for collectors. Ten percent of all primary sales will be donated to the Eden Reforestation Project, equating to at least 200 trees planted for each NFT sold.
Spanning humankind to wildlife, and cityscapes to ecosystems, the Decade of Change collection shines a light on the strength and fragility of the natural world. It examines global warming’s indirect impacts on communities and everyday people, and humanity’s efforts to turn things around. From both established and emerging photographers – including Christopher Parsons, Dagmara Wojtanowicz, and Richard John Seymour – each work is a snapshot of a pivotal moment in our planet’s history.
Here, we chat to six artists from the collection about the work they’re selling.
Javier Clemente Martínez
Javier Clemente Martínez is a documentary photographer based in Madrid, Spain. Alongside personal projects that focus on social and environmental issues, in recent years Martínez has worked in collaboration with NGOs and charitable organisations.
Martínez’s image was made in Potosí, a Bolivian city that lies at the foot of the Cerro de Potosí. The mines of Potosí – some of the oldest and largest in Latin America – are famous for providing vast quantities of silver for the Spanish Empire, and remain an important mining center today.
Women have historically worked alongside men in the mines, but are considered “bad luck”. According to Martínez, there is a shared belief among miners that this line of work is not for women, which has caused many women workers to feel diminished and undervalued. The title of this image is ‘Sumaj Orck’o’: the name of the mountain in the indigenous Quechua language, meaning ‘beautiful hill’. Martínez draws attention to the irony of this name, and in turn his image, depicting a woman at rest within a land that was historically exploited, and in which she will never be accepted.
Javier Clemente Martínez’s work is available to buy here.
Christopher Parsons is a commercial and editorial photographer based in London, with a client list that includes Adidas, British Airways, Samsung, Sky, and The Telegraph.
This image is the result of a three week trek in the Nepalese Himalayas. Parsons worked with a research team to study glaciers and permafrost in the Sagarmatha National Park. The left side depicts Mount Lhotse, while the right is an image of a sample of bacteria, taken from the land and analysed by a microbiologist in the UK. “The bacteria reveal the microbiological dynamics and organisms in the glacier environment that are not visible to the naked eye,” Parsons explains. “These microscopic elements displayed alongside the Nepalese landscape offer the viewer multiple perspectives of the life sustained by the mountains and water, underlining the need for preservation.”
Christopher Parsons’ work is available to buy here.
Mateo Ruiz Gonzalez
Born in Bogotá, Colombia, and based in New York, Mateo Ruiz Gonzalez is a documentary and editorial photographer, as well as co-founder of independent publishing house Antics Publications. His photographs observe the natural world through a poetic lens, often reflecting on the beauty of unassuming moments.
His Decade of Change image was captured in the Navajo Nation: a Native American territory that covers portions of northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico and southeastern Utah. It is the largest landmass retained by a Native American tribe in the US, but the land suffers from pollution caused by uranium mining in the mid-1900s. Today the mines are closed, but a legacy of uranium contamination remains, including over 500 abandoned mines. Water sources have been polluted by elevated levels of radiation, and the potential health effects remain unknown. Gonzalez captures two vast sandstone buttes within the sweeping desert landscape. One is cast in the light, whereas the other stands ominously in the darkness, alluding to the contrast of a beautiful landscape with a dark past.
Mateo Ruiz Gonzalez’s work is available to buy here.
Dagmara Wojtanowicz is a freelance photographer from Poland, currently living and working in Norway. Her photographic concern lies in social anthropology. Within that, she explores how humanity navigates modern life, blending traditional documentary practices with a conceptual approach.
Captured in the region of Ny-Ålesund in Svalbard, Norway, Wojtanowicz’s image depicts two scientists looking for life amid the Arctic landscape. Global warming is affecting the lives of microorganisms, causing changes to the adaptation, colonisation and survival of microbes. This can affect downstream ecosystems and even the climate.
Dagmara Wojtanowicz’s work is available to buy here.
Richard John Seymour
Richard John Seymour is a BAFTA-nominated director and award-winning visual artist exploring how humans affect the natural world, and how the natural world affects us. Seymour’s films have been screened internationally, and he has been exhibited at leading institutions including the Tate, Royal Academy, and United Nations HQ.
This image was shot in Baotou, the largest city by population in Inner Mongolia, China. In the early Communist years Baotou served as an industrial centre, with a significant portion of its economy coming from its steel production, earning it its nickname: City of Steel. This tailings lake was built to contain the waste from the steel-making process.
Richard John Seymour’s work is available to buy here.