[dropcap]Can[/dropcap] art change the world? I’ve never liked this question, its too simplistic. History and common sense say that almost anything can provoke change in society, from the smallest event or trend to the cataclysmic. But mostly it happens from a combination of many accumulating ‘nudges’.
I often think about the famous quote from Margaret Mead, that a small group of people is the only thing that ever has changed the world. And the one that goes ‘if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem’. And this from musician Glen Hansard:
You’re on this planet to fight for the light or to fight for the dark…you choose a side in the world and if your side is for communication and healing and for goodness, then you just have to do it and not question it.
I feel it’s obvious that our world is hurtling down the wrong track, and despite lots of good things heading the other way, it’s not enough. We have to change the way we operate. So when I heard about the Wild Mountain Collective, and as a photographer and writer who is committed to interpreting and promoting the natural world, I knew I would have to get involved. I enjoy collaboration, and am drawn to the idea of like-minded people working together to use art to ‘nudge’ us towards a more ecocentric and holistic society.
Can art change the world? Maybe not by itself, but I hope it can help.
Ian Brown is a lifelong bushwalker, climber, naturalist and conservationist. He has had a long career working professionally in national park management and heritage communication, and voluntarily on community environmental campaigns. As a nature photographer, he aims to observe and communicate the natural world with strength and integrity, with the hope of influencing human attitudes. Ian also operates a (very) small writing, editing and publishing business (Windy Cliff Press). His images have been widely published and exhibited, and he produces the annual Wild Blue Mountains Calendar.