‘The Alchemist’ by Lula Goce, was created in collaboration with the United Nations and the nonprofit Street Art for Mankind (SAM) and is the first in a series of 50 murals that will be painted during the Next 10 years in cities around the world to encourage ecological restoration of damaged or dying ecosystems.
Mother Nature protects her flock
âThis mural, this lady, is a metaphor for Mother Nature taking care of the environment and trying to preserve space for all the animals in the herd,â explains Lula Goce. “She tries to protect him and looks at us because we have a responsibility to protect him.”
A woman plants mangroves in Timor Leste.
With the world’s ecosystems facing threats from climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, there has never been a more urgent need to ensure that these ecosystems are revived and can thrive.
âScientists tell us that we have only ten years to go from exploiting ecosystems to restoring them. It can be achieved, but action by the whole of society is needed, âsays Veronika Hunt Safrankova, Head of the Brussels Office of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) adding that “artists can play a central role in spreading the message”.
Bringing the natural world to the city
Mural artist Lula Goce says the mural is meant to send a âpositive messageâ about the need to conserve biodiversity.
Born in Galicia, Spain, Lula Goce grew up surrounded by “salty coastal air, barnacles, drizzle and beautiful beaches”, and she brings these natural influences to the urban spaces where she works.
âBy living in cities, surrounded by cars and buildings, we lose this connection with the natural world,â says Lula Goce, who has created works of art across the world, including in Azerbaijan, Mexico and the States. -United. “We are part of nature, and it is up to us to be responsible with the planet”.
Art sparks dialogue
Painting huge works of art in public spaces triggers a direct interaction between the viewer and the mural early on in the painting process, according to the artist.
âArt in the studio is for people who love art and are looking for art. Here, it’s for people who go to work, who take out the garbage; they don’t expect it â.
Members of the public are also often surprised to see that she is female. âI break their stereotypes, the bricks they have in their heads,â she adds.
Create positive change
Lula Goce, says she had to overcome her fear of heights to paint the 40-meter-high mural.
Artists who paint such murals need to be both physically and mentally strong, especially since they often work in changing weather conditions. For Lula Goce, she must also fight the vertigo, but says that her will to carry out her projects, is greater than her fear.
When creating such murals, she says that she feels a tremendous burden of responsibility, because the artwork will be constantly present in the lives of those who live around her.
âI want them to have a good relationship with art and I try to send a positive message. (In this mural) I present a flock that we must preserve. Change is possible, if we work together.