Plastic and Happiness by Lukas Kroulik
Updated: Nov 15
The Photography Group Show, 26th September - 15th October 2023
Chelsea Arts Club, London
I am passionate about climate change. But I am concerned that so many activists become so negative in their approach, always hectoring and condemning and I want to bring beauty into the argument.
That is why I am delighted to share some of my inspiration in a specially curated photography show this autumn at the Chelsea Arts Club where I am an artist member.
This includes two photographs from my series of sustainability and climate change art.
The images feature the beauty of plastic sparingly used alongside plastic waste due for recycling. Here is an optimistic response to plastic pollution, awakening the realisation that we all can participate and make lifestyle changes which will have an impact on our imperilled world.
The images were printed in London in Printspace, the UK’s first Fine Art & Photo printing service that is completely carbon neutral and are presented in my own frame design, handmade in London out of recycled plastic collected on the streets of Soho.
The photographs were taken in Bhutan in 2022, where I was moved by the Bhutanese people, their lifestyle and commitment to both happiness and sustainability.
Ever since, I have been looking for opportunities to collaborate and share awareness about Climate Change through art and everyday activities - to demonstrate how creating and keeping new habits can have a great impact on places, spaces and communities that will benefit and inspire others. As well as stopping destructive behaviour we want to feel good about ourselves too.
The Bhutanese ideal of gross national happiness - rather than gross national product (GNP) leads immediately to concern for climate change. Here I was ever so lucky to be given insights from a great new Bhutanese 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.
In Bhutan, all the people wear a badge of HM The King and HM The Queen to show their appreciation (as one can see on Tashi in the video interview above) so I designed an eco badge from my photograph for visitors to this special photo exhibition.
Here is an example from my collaboration with James Suckling from @areyoumad.co, creating picture frames are made of recycled plastic waste collected from businesses in Soho and made into these beautiful marble-like structures. They are sleek, modern, contemporary cutting edge frames for my photographs and other artworks focused on specific areas of recycling, slow fashion, upcycling, reinventing and creating sustainable materials out of plastic as well as other forms of waste - and making these into beautiful and unique art forms or products.
Step by step - the journey of my frames: from the street waste, to the game changing education recycling space in Soho London, onto my dinner table for assembly and finally on the walls of the Chelsea Arts Club and for sale alongside other photographers who like me belong to the club.
Related Blog posts and newspaper articles:
In Bhutan I met and spoke to the world’s happiest man, the monk Matthieu Ricard, and he shared with us his secrets of a serene, successful and satisfying life.
Chelsea Arts Club
Greg Kats, an American businessman, environmentalist, and thought leader in the green economy sector.