Art Edition 3, Climate Week, Day 5: Selva Ozelli

Selva Ozelli

During the past year, due to the COVID-19 induced social distancing rules interfering with holding physical art shows, Covid-19 and Climate Change artist Selva Ozelli  participated in 9 — 3 solo, 6 group — digital art shows with 22 paintings that have been acknowledged in 10 international art contests around the world. All these art shows were registered digital events for United Nations’ (UN)  World Environment, Oceans, Desertification, Clean Air for Blue Skies Days as well as the London Climate Action Week. These art shows were also published by the world’s first climate change museum, The Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change, Hong Kong, the Climate Museum, UK, as well as more than 190 other museums in more than 40 countries.  

Selva launched her “Breathe Life” art show on World’s first Clean Air for Blue Skies Day on September 7. For this art show, Selva painted rose gardens which symbolize urban carbon sink. According to a study titled “Carbon Dioxide Sequestration Capability of the Botanical Garden of Rome”, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is one of the most abundant anthropogenic greenhouse gases contributing to the increase in air temperature, and hence, contributing to climate change. With cities housing 55% of the world population, urban parks, gardens, tree-lined avenues, sports fields, and hedges are important sinks for CO2. Therefore, urban greens should include the Botanical/Rose Gardens, taking into consideration their key role in ex situ plant conservation as well as air quality amelioration, among other social benefits.   

The top 10 rose gardens around the world include Roseto Municipale, in Rome, Italy, which has a large rose collection that climbs over paths and sprawls up hillsides with varieties arranged chronologically from ancient wild roses to early Roman and Damascene varieties to hybrids with startling colors. One of the world’s largest rose gardens, however, is the Zakir Hussain Rose Garden, in Chandigarh, India, that sprawls over 30 acres, showcasing some 50,000 rose bushes. Rosadel de Palermo, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has a collection of 18,000 roses, seen at their best in October. The Queen Mary’s Rose Gardens in London, UK, has the  city’s largest collection of roses with approximately 12,000 roses planted; as does the Valby Park, in Copenhagen, Denmark, with roses organized by color into circular flowerbeds with lovely climbing and miniature rose varieties.  The Montreal Botanical Garden, in  Montreal, Canada has approximately 10,000 roses planted. The Sakura Rose Garden in Tokyo, Japan presents a thousand variety of roses including 200 rare species with heady fragrance. Parc de Bagatelle, in Paris, France, has an impressive collection of hybrid tea roses; as does Elizabeth Park Rose Garden, in Hartford, CT, USA. The Princess Grace Rose Garden, in Monaco, on the other hand, showcases 300 rose varieties sheltered by palm and olive trees, and sculptures.


Selva launched her “Art in the Time of Corona 2” digital art show on World Science Day for Peace and Development on November 10. For this art show, she painted the coronavirus in the shape of plants, symbolic of the link between carbon sinks and the Covid-19 pandemic. Urban areas have emerged as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, housing  95% of the cases, highlighting the vulnerabilities of social and health systems, the fragility of ecology as well as economies, and asserting the unsustainability of our current relationship with nature.   

Chronicling Corona, Climate Change to Corona, Lighting Up Orange for Corona; Oil, 30 x 40 cm, Canvas by Selva Ozelli

For her upcoming “Art in the Time of Corona 3” art show, Selva is painting coronavirus in the shape of roses.  The urban rose gardens in her art show “Breathe Life” have been replaced by Ghosts of Roses — the coronavirus, which has infected more than 46 million people around the world with most cases in the USA, followed by India and Brazil, according to the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. These top three countries house close to 50% of the World’s coronavirus patients at this time.     With the biggest one-day rise in infections rising to nearly 100,000 in the U.S., hospitals and intensive care units are running close to capacity, World Health Organization (WHO) Chief said. 

Nevertheless, in a hopeful announcement, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory disclosed that they found a safe way to track the spread of COVID-19 and other contagious diseases from one cell to another in the human body. Also, a vaccine against COVID-19 by Pfizer, BioNTech (by Dr. Ugur Sahin and Dr. Ozlem Tureci) and Fosun Pharma may be ready by year-end, Chief of WHO declared.

Ghosts of Roses 1, 2 & 3; Oil; 30 x 30 cm, 50 x 60 cm, 30 x 30 cm; Canvas by Selva Ozelli

The significance of merging global efforts and ensuring global collaboration in addressing World’s pollution problem prompted  World leaders to announce their decarbonization initiatives under two UN campaigns (1) ‘Race To Zero’; and (2) ‘Maintaining a Low Carbon Development Path towards the 2030 Agenda in the Era of COVID-19’. 

As part of the Race to Zero Campaign, which will be held digitally amid the second COVID-19 lockdown announced by UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London explained,

“Last year we held London’s first ever Climate Action Week, bringing together climate expertise and talent from across the world. I’m proud to see that it’s back in 2020, despite the huge challenges posed by Coronavirus.  The climate emergency remains one of the biggest threats we face. As we recover from Covid-19, we can’t replace one health emergency with another – we need to come out of this crisis embracing a new normal which puts tackling the climate emergency at the heart of everything we do. With the delay to COP 26 we can’t lose the momentum on climate action, so I’m pleased to see that London organisations are leading the way, showing once again that the capital is a driving force for action nationally and globally.” 

Selva’s digital art shows (1-5) are registered for London Climate Action Week which takes place during Nov 14 – 22, 2020.  

Solo Digital Art Shows

1. Art in the Time of Corona, Pinelo Art Gallery, London Climate Action Week Digital Event
2. Breathe Life,  Pinelo Art Gallery, London Climate Action Week Digital Event
3. Art in the Time of Corona 2, Pinelo Art Gallery, London Climate Action Week Digital Event

Group Digital Art Shows

4. Atelier Teymur Rzayev First Digital Climate Change Art Show, Pinelo Art Gallery, London Climate Action Week Digital Event
5. Clean Air for Blue Skies, Pinelo Art Gallery, London Climate Action Week Digital Event
6. Portakal Cicegi Project for Orphans of COVID-19 Healthcare Professionals, Port Art Gallery
7. Biology Society of South Australia Wildfire Art Exhibit, University of Adelaide, Australia
8. Youth For Human Rights International, Washington, D.C. Chapter, International Peace Day Art Exhibit, Marble Gallery, DC USA
9. First International Online Art Contest and Exhibition by Creative Canvas

To read Selva’s interviews, visit TrvstNonvergence, Irish Tech News, The Times of Corona and Tired Earth.

Visit her profiles at Talenthouse and Climate Cultures.

To share your Covid-19 experience or to publish your articles, stories, poems and artwork, write to us (in বাংলা or English) at or use our submission form.

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