Selva Ozelli is an environmentalist who expresses the sentiment of the times of Corona in her work as an artist, writer, international tax attorney, and certified public accountant. Our fourth artist for Art Edition 4 is not only a prolific artist but has also written extensively on climate change and its repercussions on the earth on various platforms. Her paintings have been displayed in numerous UN events and other leading platforms that spread awareness about climate change. We are glad to present an interview with her along with some more of her paintings.
What are you currently working on?
We are in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic with health professionals putting their lives and their intellectual property on the line, to save us. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared this year as the year of health and healthcare workers.
Ambassadors from the World Trade Organization’s 164 member states have been debating a proposal first proposed by South Africa and India that would temporarily lift patent rights held by pharmaceutical companies that developed the vaccines. The U.S and China’s recent endorsement of this proposal to waive Covid-19 vaccine patents may pave the way to a quick recovery from the pandemic, given the growth of Covid-19 cases in low- and middle-income countries which have been largely left without the huge shipments of vaccine.
Therefore, this year I launched three new art shows “Art in the Time of Corona 3, 4 & 5 – Recovery Roses” that include portraits of healthcare professionals including Dr. Ozlem Tureci, who is the chief medical officer and the co-founder of the biotechnology company BioNTech, which developed the first approved messenger RNA-based vaccine against COVID-19 in 2020.
ART IN THE TIME OF CORONA 4 – RECOVERY ROSES
The paintings in my latest art shows were selected in the United Nations’ art contests such as:
- #OnlyTogether: United Nations Verified Global Campaign for Fair Vaccine Access
- United Nations World Unity Art Contest
- United Nations Global Goals Art Contest
- United Nations Women Global Call to Creatives: Artivism for Gender Equality
ART IN THE TIME OF CORONA 5 – RECOVERY ROSES
How has this year been so far, what worked well and what didn’t move as quickly as you would have liked?
The United Nations celebrates and raises awareness for a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and has declared 2021 as the International Year of the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development at the 74th General Assembly. A sustainable green recovery plan from the pandemic necessitates understanding the links between climate change, health, biodiversity, and implementing ambitious climate change policies, which align with the Paris agreement. The United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are a call for action by all countries to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. More important than ever, these goals provide a critical framework for a post-COVID-19 green recovery.
This year for the first time, along with The CUHK Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change, The Institute of International Knowledge Management (TIIKM), Pinelo Art Gallery artists like Semine Hazar, Fatma Kadir, and Ilhan Sayin, I joined Tired Earth’s Worldwide #Maskuary environmental campaign.
The #MASKUARY campaign raises awareness of the environmental pollution from single use plastic face mask disposals with the risk of contamination and infection it creates. The launch of the #Maskuary Campaign art shows will take place at 2021 London Climate Action Week with the support of the CUHK Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change. These art shows will also be part of TIIKM’s Fine Art & Humanities Conference that will take place on September 21-22, 2021, which has a theme of “Health in the Arts and Humanities.” My paintings for the #MASKUARY Campaign can be found in my art show:
ART IN THE TIME OF CORONA – #MASKUARY
In addition to joining the #Maskuary campaign, during the first half of this year, I made a concerted effort to exhibit my art shows with the themes of a green recovery from the pandemic. These shows are:
- The Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change Hong Kong;
- Solidarity Show COVID-19 Arts Initiative (World Health Organization & Create 2030);
- UN’s 7th Session of Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development;
- UN’s 7th Asian Pacific Adaptation Forum;
- 2021 EU Africa Business Forum;
- 2021 World Wetlands, Water and Oceans Days Art Shows;
- 2021 International Women’s Day – Istanbul Art Magazine & Fine Arts Addict Art Shows;
- 2021 International Day of Women and Girls in Science: CIMUSET-International Committee for Museums of Science & Technology;
- 2021 TIIKM World Waste Management & Fine Arts Conference – Srilanka;
- 2021 World Wildlife & Forest Days Art Shows;
- 2021 World Health Day – World Water Coalition South America Art Show;
- 2021 World Artist Day Art Show;
- 2021 Earthday.Org Artist Gallery;
- 2021 World Vaccine Week;
- 2021 World Intellectual Property Day Art Show;
- 2021 World Migratory Bird Day Art Show;
- 2021 The Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week Art Show;
- 2021 World Nurses Day Art Show;
- 2021 Oceanic Global Art Show;
- 2021 Biodiversity Day Art Show;
- 2021 World Environment Day Art Show
- 2021 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought;
- Give to Corona Art Show – Pinelo Art Gallery;
- 2021 London Climate Action Week Art Show
What do you hope to express in your “Art in the Time of Corona 3, 4 & 5 – Recovery Roses” digital art shows?
With my Art in the Time of Corona series, I explored whether Climate Change caused by carbon emissions might be one reason for such a terrible global COVID-19 pandemic scenario. Carbon pollution defies national borders and is inescapable. The true cost of climate change is felt when it penetrates deep into our respiratory and circulatory systems and damages our lungs, which are highly vulnerable to the coronavirus, according to a report prepared by the WHO.
With the UN focused on a green recovery from the pandemic and with US and China’s support of a proposal by the World Trade Organization for an intellectual property protection waiver on COVID-19 vaccines, I hope we are on a way to a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. These are the themes I wanted to convey in my “Art in the Time of Corona 3, 4 & 5 – Recovery Roses” art shows where coronavirus is depicted as recovery roses.
ART IN THE TIME OF CORONA 3 – RECOVERY ROSES
What are your plans for the future?
In good health, I hope to continue making climate change themed artwork and exhibit them at the upcoming UN Biodiversity Conference COP15 and UN Climate Change Conference COP26.
How can our readers find out more about what you are working on?