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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Artists Concern: Visualising Environmental Destruction in Papua New Guinea


This article presents ways in which two contemporary artists in Papua New Guinea (PNG) are dealing with issues of climate change and the destruction of nature in PNG and the Pacific at large through their art. Laben Sakale John and Gazellah Bruder are two well-known PNG artists who visualise their feelings and thoughts about environmental degradation and the impact of climate change in intense and expressive ways. Laben Sakale John addresses tropical storms and Australian bushfires, while Gazellah Bruder is concerned about ocean pollution, deforestation in PNG, and the extinction of wildlife. Both are aware that the lifestyles of Indigenous peoples and their traditional livelihoods are also threatened. Their works of art evoke a sense of loss and sadness but also of urgency, that something effective must be done—by all of us—to combat climate change on a global scale.

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