Art is one of the most effective ways to preach an issue to a population non-violently while still ensuring an immense impact on viewers. Barry Underwood set out with the mission of creating artwork that portrays the negative effects of light pollution revolving around human interaction and cultural norms. Along with the man-made light pollution, Underwood claims that his artwork also stems from his “inspiration of the world’s natural energy”.
Usually using LED glow sticks or lightbulbs, Underwood places the lights around a natural phenomenon, creating the illusion and message that nature is not going to submit to the unnatural powers of man. With a mix of photography, mixed media, painting and land art Underwood spends time at each of the locations he uses, taking in the history and making sure he does the land justice by telling its unique and individual story. The message of the artwork is not meant to be mercenary or a statement that humans are ruining the planet. Underwood is simply providing us with the thought that a change of mind regarding the way we perceive the environment and it’s relationship with light pollution is necessary.
The importance and impact that art can leave on a group of people is truly astonishing. We live in the anthropocene, and it is time to start taking responsibility for our actions. Underwood believes that we can achieve this through showing the beauty of land interacting with man made lights, while communicating concern.
In today’s society, many of us are blinded by the lights of civilization and Underwood claims, “nature and civilization are not separate, neither are humans and the ways in which we interact with technology”.