Erin Currier

Young Climate Activist, Greta Tunberg

Acrylic & mixed media on panel, 24"h x 18"w, Item No. 17023,

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Greta Thunberg born January 3, 2003

Born in Sweden, Greta Thunberg is an environmental activist on climate change whose simple decision at age 15 to skip classes every week and sit in at the Swedish Parliament – urging immediate action to address the climate crisis—inspired other students to engage in similar protests in their own communities.  Soon a school climate strike movement was born: Fridays for Future—that has since ignited ongoing worldwide actions by millions of participants. She addressed the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference; and, in 2019, to avoid flying, Thunberg sailed to North America where she attended the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit. Her speech there, in which she exclaimed "how dare you" was widely taken up by the press and incorporated into music. Hundreds of academics soon signed an open letter of support stating they were inspired by Thunberg's actions and the striking school children in making their voices heard. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres endorsed the school strikes initiated by Thunberg, admitting that "My generation has failed to respond properly to the dramatic challenge of climate change. This is deeply felt by young people. No wonder they are angry.", and that it's up to youth to "rescue the planet".

Greta Thunberg is nothing short of a global phenomenon—a heroine and, all the more so, for the depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, aspergers disease, and other mental health issues that she has grappled with, and transformed to her benefit. She is the youngest ever individual Time Person of the Year; nominated for both the 2019 and 2020 Nobel Peace Prize; recipient of everything from the Right Livelihood Award, to a fellowship to the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, to Glamour Magazine’s Woman of the Year; to the subject of a Vice documentary. She is Muse and the subject of more paintings, poems, raps, hip-hop ballads, murals, street art, cartoons, newsclips, posts, tweets, and Instagram stories than can be counted.

I’ve chosen to portray Greta Thunberg as a Saint with a mandorla comprised of seed packets; holding apples as a controversial symbol of both knowledge and the fall of Man, and for the fact that they originated thousands of years ago in Central Asia and have since spread—just like the seeds and fruits of Greta’s brave actions—across continents and oceans…

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