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Shocking, Beautiful Images Highlight Humanity's Impact On Nature

Nature’s Toolbox is an art exhibition featuring striking pieces that show how human progress is affecting biodiversity and other parts of nature—from bee death to deforestation.

  • <p>This image, photographed at Claude Monet’s estate, features a flower that was plucked, pressed, and digitally scanned to 18 times its original size. According to Nature’s Toolbox, "Its large-scale enveloping sensation places the viewer in the perspective of the creature entering the blossom, asking us to consider how the function and design of the flower attracts and lure pollinators with the sweet promise of reproduction."</p>
  • <p>These four porcelain sculptures represent an egg from an ancient elephant bird and the limb bones of dinosaurs (Gallimimus and Allosaurus) and a Palaeomastodon. The egg represents life, but the bones represent death of a species, bringing the threat of humanity’s extinction to mind.</p>
  • <p>We don’t know for sure what has been causing bees to die off en masse in recent years, but pesticides almost certainly play a part. These photos give us a graphic representation of what mass bee death looks like.</p>
  • <p>This collection of photos (there are six in total) features residents of Rwanda holding puzzle pieces--highlighting how we all hold a piece of the puzzle to keeping biodiversity alive.</p>
  • <p>Lori Nix’s photos use natural disaster "to challenge the notion that we live in a friendly and predictable universe that is under our control," according to Art Works for Change. This photo (and the next one in the series) are miniature scale, built on a tabletop.</p>
  • <p>Created by Japanese artist Donna Ozawa, this collection of 90,000 wooden chopsticks represents the deforestation (and loss of biodiversity) that results from the mass use of these disposable eating utensils.</p>
  • <p>This is a vision of a floating city (half terrestrial, half aquatic)--a place for climate change refugees to turn to. The city, inspired by the Amazon Lilypad, travels to wherever the Gulf Stream directs it.</p>
  • <p>A photo from the Midway Atoll, a cluster of islands located 2000 miles from the closest continent. Nesting chicks on the Atoll are mistakenly fed deadly plastic by their parents.</p>
  • 01 /13

    This image, photographed at Claude Monet’s estate, features a flower that was plucked, pressed, and digitally scanned to 18 times its original size. According to Nature’s Toolbox, "Its large-scale enveloping sensation places the viewer in the perspective of the creature entering the blossom, asking us to consider how the function and design of the flower attracts and lure pollinators with the sweet promise of reproduction."

  • 02 /13 | Collection: Aepyomis, Gallimimus, Allosaurus, Pelaeomastodon

    These four porcelain sculptures represent an egg from an ancient elephant bird and the limb bones of dinosaurs (Gallimimus and Allosaurus) and a Palaeomastodon. The egg represents life, but the bones represent death of a species, bringing the threat of humanity’s extinction to mind.

  • 03 /13 | Collection: Aepyomis, Gallimimus, Allosaurus, Pelaeomastodon
  • 04 /13 | Collaborating in the Darkness Series

    We don’t know for sure what has been causing bees to die off en masse in recent years, but pesticides almost certainly play a part. These photos give us a graphic representation of what mass bee death looks like.

  • 05 /13 | Collaborating in the Darkness Series
  • 06 /13 | Millions of Pieces: Only One Puzzle

    This collection of photos (there are six in total) features residents of Rwanda holding puzzle pieces--highlighting how we all hold a piece of the puzzle to keeping biodiversity alive.

  • 07 /13 | Millions of Pieces: Only One Puzzle
  • 08 /13 | Natural History
  • 09 /13 | Aquarium From The City

    Lori Nix’s photos use natural disaster "to challenge the notion that we live in a friendly and predictable universe that is under our control," according to Art Works for Change. This photo (and the next one in the series) are miniature scale, built on a tabletop.

  • 10 /13 | The Waribashi Project

    Created by Japanese artist Donna Ozawa, this collection of 90,000 wooden chopsticks represents the deforestation (and loss of biodiversity) that results from the mass use of these disposable eating utensils.

  • 11 /13 | Lilypad, A Floating Ecopolis for Climate Refugees: Oceans of the World Principality of Monaco

    This is a vision of a floating city (half terrestrial, half aquatic)--a place for climate change refugees to turn to. The city, inspired by the Amazon Lilypad, travels to wherever the Gulf Stream directs it.

  • 12 /13 | Lilypad, A Floating Ecopolis for Climate Refugees: Oceans of the World Principality of Monaco
  • 13 /13 | Midway: Message from the Gyre

    A photo from the Midway Atoll, a cluster of islands located 2000 miles from the closest continent. Nesting chicks on the Atoll are mistakenly fed deadly plastic by their parents.

Despite the dire warnings about what will happen to the planet if we don’t care for it (i.e. quit our gasoline habit and stop emitting so many greenhouse gases), it’s easy to become shortsighted and get sidetracked with daily routines.

Nature’s Toolbox: Biodiversity, Art and Invention, an exhibition from Oakland, California-based Art Works for Change, tries to highlight how our activities contribute to species and biodiversity loss. If words don’t convince you, maybe images will. Check out some of the images above (and see where the exhibition is coming next here).

Slideshow Credits: 01 / E.V. Day; 02 / Lucy and Jorge Orta; 03 / Lucy and Jorge Orta; 04 / Aganetha Dyck and Richard Dyck; 05 / Aganetha Dyck and Richard Dyck; 06 / Antonio Briceño; 07 / Antonio Briceño; 08 / Lori Nix; 09 / Lori Nix; 10 / Donna Ozawa; 11 / Vincent Callebaut; 12 / Vincent Callebaut; 13 / Chris Jordan;

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