resilience reporter

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How Art and Design makes us more disaster resilient

Deborah Butterfield Transforms Wreckage From the Great East Japan Earthquake Into Serene Equine Monuments—See Them Here

three sorrows

Installation photo of “Deborah Butterfield: Three Sorrows.” Image courtesy LA Louver.

What the Gallery Says: “For the artist, found materials are a continued source of inspiration for her horse sculptures. In a new direction, Butterfield has incorporated

marine debris from the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami to create some of her most powerful and poignant works to date.”

Why It’s Worth a Look: Butterfield’s noble horses are beloved, and the new wrinkle—using actual flotsam from Japan—adds a new layer of pathos…


How Art and Design makes us more disaster resilient

Most people will interact with art and design in some shape or form every day.  Knowingly or not, art and design shape our lives much more than we might think.  John Berger, in his influential book, Ways of Seeing, confirms our visual navigation of the world as a central component of today’s contemporary landscape, underlining the central role of art and design in our lives.

What inspires creative practitioners is what inspires us all to do things to make our lives better.  Artists and designers are great at doing something most of us can’t; creating an art or design practice that captures our emotional and intellectual lives and taps deep into our value and belief systems.  We can appreciate works of art partly because they resonate with our inner beings; they allow us to make meaning of things, that we often lack the words, or any other means for that matter, to express.


Interestingly, natural disasters, acts of terror and/or other major disruptions in our lives are often areas that artists look to as both a source and a focus of their creative efforts.  It is through this link between art /design and major disruptions, as well as a broader spectrum of creative output, that we can examine some of the many artistic sensibilities common…

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