Raising awareness about Climate Change

My 2010 artists statement for the opening of "Visualising Climate Change" or "Climate Chains" exhibition, ArtsPost gallery, Waikato Museum, Hamilton New Zealand.
Scientists write papers and show graphs about climate change but the truth is that most people in the world are not brave enough to face it, or they think the problems are too big for them to deal with and it is easier to just forget about it and enjoy life with no worries.  Most people think that they cannot change the situation so they leave it to other people like their governments and Prime Ministers to fix it. There are many actions that people can take: use less electricity, less petrol and save non-renewable resources that are finishing.  I hear about the news of temperatures getting warmer or colder all over, that the ice in the North and South poles is melting. This is making it worse for people to live on Earth, houses are lonely in the wind, oceans will rise and take people’s houses away, some plants will not survive the changes in their environment. I think about these things and read about them in books.  I paint pictures of what it will look like if we don’t stop climate change. I paint about what life will be like when climate change gets worse…  That’s just what I do. That’s my message to the world…
"The people who enjoy my art tell me they connect emotionally to my work. I seek to surprise, and having surprised ask my audience to visualise social and environmental change. Art is a channel of communication that uses pre-conscious mechanisms and through which we can raise awareness in the wider public about issues that matter to us. After all scientists and politicians have tried for decades to raise public awareness about climate change but they use numbers and graphs to make their point. It has not worked obviously – but a large size painting on a gallery wall that shows houses in tormented weather patterns – this moves audiences. I am becoming known for my environmental activism"

Royal Society of NZ journalist Brian Johnson visited the exhibition and wrote this "Paint it Bleak" article. The exhibition's subtitle is: Visualising Climate Change - How Long Till The Water Rises?  

Te Papa Instructional Designer D. James wrote the following:
Yaniv Daniel Janson – Taking Action Project

A young artist with aspergers inspires international art community with vivid paintings of climate change and creates education resource to enable all children, including those with disabilities, to meaningfully contribute to conversations about global issues.


An artist dream - to inspire disabled people to follow their passion.
Collaborating with Art Teachers around the world through the UNESCO: http://y-learning.blogspot.com/p/unesco.html

"Yaniv Janson has been recognised as a role model through the 12 art and education awards he has received. His pathway was not always clear as he battled with disabilities which he combats daily by developing a visual language through his art. The youngest artist to be invited in the NZ Academy of Fine Arts, Yaniv was recently a finalist for the 2014 Artistic Achievement Attitude Awards. His art website www.yanivjanson.com has more information about him as well as his resume.

When his second book Changing the World - One Painting at a Time was recognised as a valuable teacher resource by the UNESCO Asia Pacific Art-educators Hub (APAH), Yaniv donated its pdf file to the APAH, for support staff to download it for free. His motivation was to reach far and wide with staff facing a universal problem - engaging disabled youth meaningfully, whilst having to manage a whole group. Yaniv knows the transformative power of the arts, as his talent was uncovered by his teacher when he was 16 and feeling alienated from the rest of his peers. Pursuing his passion helped Yaniv transcend his disability to participate and contribute.

Now that this resource has been adopted by teachers internationally, Yaniv can focus his energy back home to work with our disabled people, as is the purpose of this project.

Increasing opportunities for disabled people to contribute via employment

Since his project has been nominated by the UNESCO, Yaniv has but one dream: follow on and engage with New Zealand Art Educators and Community builders. Pilot presentations to families, support staff and educators of children with disabilities have been very well received. They have engaged their audiences into a constructive and inspirational dialogue on what can be done immediately, with the resources at hand to engage disabled people and tap into their deep desire to participate and contribute. These presentations inspire people to take action and create change in their organisations and families.

One resource - multiple outcomes! 

The front section of the book is inspirational to a wide range of audiences; our experience has shown that youth with disabilities connect with the colourful art and with guidance, look forward to engaging in creative activity of this kind.

The back section of the book is a manual for people who support disabled people. It links action to pedagogical theory and explains how to engage marginalised people - such as disabled people with views of developing their careers. The Manual details how some activities build the Key Competencies that have been outlined by experts in education and social development as playing a core role in helping disabled people contribute to their communities". 
Yaniv Janson says:

“I travel to schools and day centres for disabled people to inspire educators and staff to raise their expectations about the contribution that can be made by the people they support. I know from first hand experience that support staff often have low expectations about disabled people’s future social contribution, and where interventions have been made, these expectations can increase, opening hosts of new opportunities for disabled people. In many cases, families and carers just need to meet people who they can see have achieved their dreams so they can be inspired by their energy and the happiness that comes from being engaged in what one is passionate about!"

I have met many parents who did not dare dreaming anymore for a great future for their child.

I am not advocating that every disabled person should become an artist… just that in following my passion and gifts I achieved success and happiness – and recognition for the contribution that I am making to my community!

It is about identifying what one is passionate about and putting all our energy in becoming great at it! This can and has changed lives!!” 

Charlotte Giblin the Wallace Morrinsville Gallery curator said:

“It has been a privilege and a pleasure to have this exhibition in our new gallery, and Yaniv’s bold, bright canvasses have attracted a lot of attention. The subject matter has been of particular interest to visiting school groups, who have been fascinated to see such confident, expressive work echoing their own fears of a changing world. On my part, I find the later work in Yaniv’s display particularly moving: the loose swirls and spontaneous strokes within Tornados and Turbulence ignite a passionate response and give emphasis to the ever-present plaintive question: what can we do to stop this from happening?  The Gallery walls here have worn Yaniv’s paintings with pride, but it would be selfish to keep them for too long: this exhibition is too important to be kept hidden, or restricted to one Town, one Region, one Country.”

Shortcut to this post: https://tinyurl.com/ClimateChangeJanson