Sophia Lloyd-Jones has returned to an old form of producing natural dyes using vegetables and nuts to produce organic sculptures that challenge what it means to make art in an environmentally sustainable way.
The fourth-year Visual Arts student was among the recipients of the 2016 Green Awards, honoured during a March 31 event. Established in 2008, the Western Green Awards celebrate individuals and/or teams who initiate or support activities with positive environmental outcomes, encourage participation and involvement, work together with others or demonstrate an environmentally friendly effort. The purpose of the awards is to help raise awareness of sustainability at Western.
Going to the store to purchase art supplies, such as acrylic paints, might have been easier, but it didn’t fit with Lloyd-Jones’ artistic philosophy and commitment to reducing waste. Going to such great lengths to create her art – such as boiling beets and walnuts to make saturated dyes and using environmentally friendly, natural materials and specially sourced canvas fabric – Lloyd-Jones felt “it was a challenge I wanted to do.” She was able to turn what would otherwise be considered waste into something beautiful.
“It made me feel my art was saying something,” she said.
The Green Awards acknowledges staff, faculty and student “grassroots initiatives that have resulted in positive and lasting change to changing processes, changing habits or changing minds,” said Western President Amit Chakma. Since it was established in 2008, more than 325 unique nominations have been submitted for the awards.
“We, as a higher learning institution, have an obligation to be leaders; to push the boundaries in all that we do. As a result, the greater community looks to us to be active stewards of the environment. Both as an institution and grassroots engagement, Western does not disappoint. We continue to be a centre for great minds, great vision and great action,” said Gitta Kulczycki, Vice-President (Resources & Operations).
“Many of those initiatives, even today, continue to impact our sustainability efforts,” she added.
Also honoured with a Green Award were:
The ESS Composting Team
The Environment & Sustainability Society (ESS) aims to promote a sense of community and an engaging educational atmosphere within the Masters of Environment and Sustainability (MES) program, the Western environmental community, and the greater London community. With a plan to introduce composting to more areas on Western’s campus, the ESS Composting Team developed a comprehensive proposal to implement composting at The Spoke.
Glenn Matthews has fostered environmental awareness and a true sustainable commitment through his leadership of numerous recycling and clean-up projects for neighbouring off-campus student residence areas. Take it or Leave it, a program offered during spring move-out for off-campus students, provides an opportunity for departing students to store their furniture for use by incoming students. Interested students can select any item from the bin for use in their residence or apartment. As a result of Matthews’ initiatives, the Take it or Leave it program has been responsible for the reuse of more than 4,000 pieces of furniture.