Chantal Westby, a Philadelphia-base artist creates artworks with an extraordinary commitment to social and environmental causes. Her art serves as a powerful catalyst for change, combining creativity with a deep passion for addressing the urgent issues of our time. Through Westby & Mercier Studio, her climate change education initiative, Chantal Westby endeavors to bring her work to diverse venues, encouraging profound self-reflection and promoting individual responsibility. With her unique perspective, she aims to change the climate before it changes us, recognizing the pivotal nature of this decade.
Chantal Westby’s art is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to promoting environmental awareness and spurring action. Her major art exhibit, “The Aesthetics Forest,” is a profound exploration of climate change and the natural hazards that threaten our planet. This immersive installation combines elements of science, art, and dialogue to engage communities and emphasize the interconnectedness between humans and the natural world.
“The Aesthetics Forest” is not just an art installation; it’s a call to action. It serves as a powerful visual language, conveying the damage humanity is inflicting upon our planet. Westby and her artistic partner, Lénaic, have dedicated their art to awakening, stimulating, surprising, and educating people about the urgency of addressing climate change. Their work is a reflection of the beauty and energy of the universe, juxtaposed with the consequences of human excess and its harmful impact on the environment.
Their vision is all-encompassing, designed to reach both art lovers and those who might not be familiar with the world of art. The immersive installations they create are emotional vectors, gently challenging viewers to awaken to the current and future upheavals of our planet. In a world where the risks of climate change are increasing daily, Chantal Westby and Lénaic are exploring innovative methods to communicate the urgency of the situation beyond the traditional language of scientists and journalists.
“The Aesthetics Forest” is more than an art exhibit; it’s an immersive experience that employs various artistic media to engage audiences with the beauty of nature while raising awareness about climate change and altering perceptions. Cynthia Veloric notes that the exhibition will challenge viewers to reconsider their aesthetic experience of nature in light of the scientific consensus on the climate crisis and the societal forces hastening environmental degradation.
Chantal Westby’s sculptures are also a significant part of her contribution to environmental awareness. These large-scale sculptures embody the four elements—fire, air, water, and land—using natural materials such as wood, branches, tree parts, bird nests, moss, and the sounds of the forest. These pieces aim to evoke a sense of urgency and raise awareness about the dire consequences of climate change.
By using natural materials in her art, Chantal Westby underscores the deep interconnection between humanity and the natural world, showcasing its vulnerability and resilience. Through her artwork, she seeks to spark a dialogue about the critical importance of preserving and protecting our environment for future generations. Westby’s commitment to recycling and repurposing objects showcases her dedication to sustainable practices, reflecting the ethos of her work.
Two of her noteworthy sculptures, “ADAM & EVE” and “ETERNITY,” exemplify her dedication to creating thought-provoking art. “ADAM & EVE” is a striking sculpture made from plaster and cement, standing at a height of 6 feet. “ETERNITY,” on the other hand, is a captivating painting measuring 30″ x 40″, rendered in ink and gold on canvas.
Westby’s paintings are equally mesmerizing, with two large paintings sized at 103″ x 56″, featuring a combination of ink, minerals, gold leaf, and varnish. She also has two smaller paintings created with the same mediums. These paintings reflect her commitment to showcasing the beauty of nature and its fragility, alongside the pressing issues of our time.
In addition to these works, her “Humanity Challenge” sculpture, composed of moss on the face and a metal pedestal, stands at 33 inches in height. It incorporates recycled glass, wood, leaves, plants, stone, cement, and steam, making it a striking piece that symbolizes the delicate balance between human existence and nature.
Chantal Westby’s work isn’t just visual; it’s an immersive experience, complete with spotlights, projectors, and soundtracks to enhance the overall impact. Through her art, she engages with her audience on a deep emotional level, prompting them to reconsider their role in preserving the planet for future generations.
In a world where climate change is no longer a distant threat but an immediate crisis, artists like Chantal Westby play a crucial role in raising awareness, inspiring action, and fostering dialogue. Her work is a testament to the power of creativity in addressing the most pressing issues of our time. As the world grapples with the consequences of environmental neglect, Chantal Westby’s art serves as a beacon of hope, urging us to take responsibility and work toward a more sustainable future.