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In my collage, originally created for the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2023, I connected four original hand modified photographs on a recycled gold tray.

I am connecting the spiritual, prayer flags, and the physical, recycle bins. The flags point to the sublime, the bins to what we reject. We must bring these together to create a positive, hopeful embrace of climate change and sustainability activism, as I do in my art.

Lukas Kroulik's 75x50cm collage titled 'Redemption' framed in a mindfully sourced cherrywood, 2023.

My inspiration arose from the famously inspirational four pillars of Gross National Happiness in Bhutan.

1. Sustainable and Equitable Socio-Economic Development

2. Preservation and Promotion of Culture

3. Environmental Conservation

4. Good Governance

Tashi Chozom and Lukas Kroulik in Bhutan 2022.

The Bhutanese ideal of gross national happiness - rather than gross national product (GNP) leads immediately to concern for climate change. Here we were ever so lucky to be given insights from a great new friend. This is Tashi, who took part in the international snowman trail race in September 2022, organised by HM The King to add a new voice to the demands for action on climate risk, as the trail marked the retreat of the snowfields.

I was encouraged by my two fellow Regent's University alumni, HM The Queen of Bhutan and François van den Abeele, SEA2SEE Founder & Ceo.

We all have several things in common: successful studies at Regent's, a passion for a happy future and clean environment around us - and making a specific change and difference in areas close to us.

My good friend, photographer and eco warrior, Eliska Sky and I went to see Czech opera by Antonin Dvorak Rusalka, featuring a tragic little mermaid, with a climate change bent in this 2023 new production.

Here are some snippets from Erica Jeal's review for The Guardian

"You’re like a vision from old fairytales,” sings the Prince to Rusalka, the doomed water-spirit heroine of Dvorak’s opera. Much in this new production by Ann Yee and Natalie Abrahami is a vision from an old opera house – in a good way. The old-fashioned feel starts with a beautifully realised aerial ballet of the Prince swimming into Rusalka’s arms and continues once the lights go up with Chloe Lamford’s sets, grand and opulent to match the richly textured orchestral playing that the conductor Semyon Bychkov is conjuring up in the pit."

"So far, so old-school – yet some of the visual opulence is unashamed stage trickery. For Yee and Abrahami, Rusalka is about humanity versus nature, the despoiling of natural beauty by human carelessness. Their previous work together has been ecologically conscious, and that continues here: you can be impressed by the lushness of the hanging fronds around Rusalka’s lake without guessing that they are made from metres of the wardrobe department’s old offcuts.

Annemarie Woods’s costumes have a dressing-up-box feel, with wood spirits covered in mossy clumps and with Alexei Isaev’s Vodnik entering like Lucius Malfoy dressed by Issey Miyake. Rusalka similarly wears a translucent cape, pleated from neck to toe. But as they move and the fabric catches the last-ray-before-sunset glow of Paule Constable’s lighting, we realise that they are not merely fairytale creatures emerging from the water: they are the water itself."

The curtain call is the only time when the audience can take photographs for at an ROH production (center). The set reminds me of my small pond in Scotland with my installation of fishing buoys showing how climate change changes the environment.

Nature pollution in one of Lukas Kroulik's sustainability related images "A pool of plastic bottles".

Inspired by the opera Rusalka ever since I met the lead Czech opera singer Eduard Haken in 1989.

Here is a clip from Rusalka opera sang by Eduard Haken as Vodnik.

I came across these trainers made from ocean plastic at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Designed by Alexander Taylor for Adidas, woven recycled plastic filament, plastic and rubber, Adidas X Parley Ultraboost, 2015.

Original photo-montage by Lukas Kroulik - From fishing nets to sportswear.

These trainers are made from illegal deep-sea plastic gillnets removed from the Antarctic Ocean by the charity Sea Shepherd.

Produced by Adidas in collaboration with the environmental campaign group Parley for the Oceans, the shoes show how advocacy and design can lead to game-changing innovation.

The woven uppers are made using a process called 'tailored fibre placement' which enables the repurposed plastic to be woven directly into the shape of the foot.

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