Quantcast

Filipino Artists Used Pigments From Contaminated Rivers to Highlight Pollution

Most people try to avoid coming in contact with polluted water, but these artists are using it to advocate for a cleaner environment.

Photo credit: NowThis via Facebook

Nine Filipino artists were commissioned to paint using pigments from six contaminated rivers in Manila, Reuters reported. Their work is part of the "Dirty Watercolor" exhibit in the Manila mall. The paintings will be sold and proceeds will be given to charities working to clean up the waters of the capital city, according to a NowThis video.

"What better way to raise awareness than to make use of the very medium," Cid Reyes, exhibit curator, said.

The pigments were taken from riverbed soil samples, according to the BBC. They range in color, including black, grey, sepia, burnt sienna and brown.

Samples were processed and de-contaminated and then oven dried for 24 hours before becoming watercolor paints used by the artists. To become watercolor, the pigments were mixed with gum arabic solution, said the BBC.

Photo credit: NowThis via Facebook

Even though the samples were de-contaminated, their smell remained.

"Although the pigments have already been de-contaminated, the smell of sludge was still present, so that was a big challenge for us artists," JC Vargas, a visual artist involved with the project, told NowThis.

Vargas told BBC that the smell only goes away when the pigments dry.

"Dirty Watercolor" consists of 22 pieces featuring everyday scenes along the river, the BBC reported. The project was completed in slightly less than a month.

The art work is priced between $825 and $2,600.

Five of Manila's rivers were declared biologically dead in 2004. They were so contaminated with silt, crude oil, heavy metals and biological waste, the BBC said, that scientists determined nothing could live in them.

Manila's longest river, the Pasig, is 25km (15 miles) long. It feeds tributaries and is still used by many citizens for bathing and other activities. Pasig was the main inspiration for this project.

For more information, watch this NowThis video:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

There's Nothing Average About This Year's Gulf of Mexico 'Dead Zone'

Duke Study: Rivers Contaminated With Radium and Lead From Thousands of Fracking Wastewater Spills

Are You Drinking Teflon Contaminated Water?

How Is Climate Change Affecting the Philippines?

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Tinnakorn Jorruang / iStock / Getty Images

By Dan Nosowitz

The budding research on cannabidiol, or CBD, attracts a great deal of interest in the agricultural field.

Read More Show Less
Oksana Khodakovskaia / iStock / Getty Images

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

The loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) is a tree native to China that's prized for its sweet, citrus-like fruit.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released new numbers that show vaping-related lung illnesses are continuing to grow across the country, as the number of fatalities has climbed to 33 and hospitalizations have reached 1,479 cases, according to a CDC update.

Read More Show Less
During the summer, the Arctic tundra is usually a thriving habitat for mammals such as the Arctic fox. Education Images / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Reports of extreme snowfall in the Arctic might seem encouraging, given that the region is rapidly warming due to human-driven climate change. According to a new study, however, the snow could actually pose a major threat to the normal reproductive cycles of Arctic wildlife.

Read More Show Less
Vegan rice and garbanzo beans meals. Ella Olsson / Pexels

By Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA)

One common concern about vegan diets is whether they provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals it needs.

Many claim that a whole-food, plant-based diet easily meets all the daily nutrient requirements.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A fracking well looms over a residential area of Liberty, Colorado on Aug. 19. WildEarth Guardians / Flickr

A new multiyear study found that people living or working within 2,000 feet, or nearly half a mile, of a hydraulic fracturing (fracking) drill site may be at a heightened risk of exposure to benzene and other toxic chemicals, according to research released Thursday by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)

Read More Show Less
Pope Francis flanked by representatives of the Amazon Rainforest's ethnic groups and catholic prelates march in procession during the opening of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region at The Vatican on Oct. 07 in Vatican City, Vatican. Alessandra Benedetti / Corbis News / Getty Images

By Vincent J. Miller

The Catholic Church "hears the cry" of the Amazon and its peoples. That's the message Pope Francis hopes to send at the Synod of the Amazon, a three-week meeting at the Vatican that ends Oct. 27.

Read More Show Less

The crowd appears to attack a protestor in a video shared on Twitter by ITV journalist Mahatir Pasha. VOA News / Youtube screenshot

Some London commuters had a violent reaction Thursday morning when Extinction Rebellion protestors attempted to disrupt train service during rush hour.

Read More Show Less