Cartoon about art gallery and museum mechandising and funding.
Which works of art would look good on fridge magnets?
Cartoon showing artworks being considered for use in merchandising
Cartoon showing a meeting of staff responsible for acquiring artworks in an art gallery considering which works of art to buy, including evaluating the commercial, marketing and merchandising potential of the works of art under consideration.
The cartoon’s caption reads:
“It may indeed be a pivotially significant example of early 18th century Flemish art, but as head of merchandising I have to ask ‘What would it look like on a fridge magnet?’”
It is a cartoon about the commercialisation and commodification of artworks such as paintings and of museum artefacts. The cartoon illustrates the problem of funding art galleries and museums, and the increased reliance on museum gift shops and cafes.
Cartoon reference number: a152
A cartoon about pollution of the oceans
Hermit crabs using old tin cans instead of mollusc shells
Pollution of the oceans causing habitat depletion and ecosystem damage
See an alternative version of this marine pollution cartoon here
Cartoon reference number: env094
A cartoon about marine pollution
A hermit crab using an old tin can instead of a shell
One of the ideas behind this cartoon is that pollution of the seas and oceans will cause depletion of life such as marine snails, making it necessary for hermit crabs to adapt to using discarded rubbish as protection.
The cartoon could also be interpreted as showing wildlife adapting to a changed ecosystem.
A cartoon about waste recycling, household waste, wildlife in danger.
See an alternative version of this cartoon here.
Cartoon reference number: env094b
A comment on the proposed high speed rail service, HS2.
Inquiry into HS2 show different financial implications and differing conclusions about financial viability
The cartoon shows a government minister responsible for rail transport and trains looking at an inquiry report and thinking “My reputation’s on the line”
Cartoon reference number: a628
A cartoon about air pollution from my environmental cartoons selection
A cartoon showing pollutants in the form of polluting black smoke issuing from a factory chimney.
Global overpopulation cartoon
Population crisis or the overpopulation tsunami
An illustration about the crisis of overpopulation that is threatening the ecology of the planet
The world’s population is rising at an unsustainable rate, putting pressure on the earth’s resources and threatening its biosystem due to habitat loss
Population explosion cartoon
A cartoon about the fact that the rise in the human population is threatening the ecosystem of the earth.
The population is becoming increasingly unsustainable
Carbon footprint cartoon
An illustration about atmospheric pollution, industrial toxic emissions, smokestack industries
Smoke from a factory chimney forming into the shape of carbon footprints.
Cartoon reference number: env234
A cartoon about environment-friendly materials.
A discarded polystyrene container talking to animals, saying that it likes nature so much that it’s decided to stay around for a long time.
An illustration about biodegradable packaging materials, litter, recycling, waste, consumerism, bio-decomposition, environmental impact
Cartoon reference number: env069b
A comment on climate change
Some people think that rather than trying to prevent climate change and global warming we should treat climate change as inevitable and adapt to it.
I’ve been drawing cartoons about environmental issues since my student days.
I think my first one was a cartoon about the use of ambergris (extracted from sperm whales) in cosmetics. That was back in about 1970.
I’m still at it today.
Now I’ve started to combine drawing cartoons about the environment with a bit of practical work on the subject, managing my plot of land in west Cornwall for the benefit of wildlife.
Click on the cartoon to see the rest of my environment cartoons.
Endangered species cartoon
A fish restaurant selling endangered species of fish
Over fishing is depleting fish stocks, with species such as cod and tuna being put on endangered species lists
A cartoon about food, resources, fishing quotas
Caring for the environment cartoon
Watering a flower that represents the earth.
An illustration showing the earth in the form of a flower, being watered
A cartoon about caring for the planet and the environment
Cartoon reference number: a552
Environment cartoon – sustainable transport
An illustration showing a family on a tandem as an environmentally friendly method of transport
Bicycle cartoon or illustration
Cartoon reference number: a551
Environment cartoon – earth as a balloon
An illustration showing the earth as a passenger balloon, with people throwing consumer goods over the side in order to keep afloat.
The idea is that the human race needs to jettison its dependence on consumer goods.
The concept behind the illustration is a little similar to the ‘spaceship earth’ metaphor
Cartoon reference number: a550
Sundial cartoon. A sundial is a solar powered clock
In the cartoon a person is looking at a sundial and is saying “It’s incredible that all those years ago they’d developed solar-powered clocks.”
The cartoon illustrated how in the modern world we assume everything has to be powered by a relatively modern form of power, such as electricity in the form of batteries or mains electricity. In the past everything was powered by “sustainable” or “natural” resources, such as solar power, the wind or water.
A cartoon about the history of clocks, horology
Cartoon reference number: a544
See my book of gardening cartoons here.
Easter Island statue – a cartoon about hubris
A cartoon showing Easter Islanders erecting a statue
There is a theory that the community on Easter Island went into decline when the Easter Islanders, the Rapa Nui, cut down all of the trees on the island while putting all of their efforts into erecting their famous statues, or moai.
With no trees left, life became unsustainable.
The cartoon can be seen as an argument for rewilding, the system by which degraded ecosystems can be returned to functioning systems by the reintroduction (either deliberately or by benign neglect) of native species.
An illustration about the hubris of power. It brings to mind Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Original cartoon drawn: 2012
Cartoon reference number: a537
One of my environment cartoons – showing a man devouring the earth
The cartoon shows the earth in space as a globe, being eaten by the gigantic man
The image is an illustration of the way that the human race is destroying the planet by over consumption and over population. Over population is implied by the giant size of a single human who is devouring the earth’s resources.
Cartoon reference number: a513
Cartoon about the use of ambergris and whale products in cosmetics
Save the whale cartoon
Ambergris, produced by sperm whales, is used in cosmetics
An illustration dealing with the cosmetics industry, whale hunting or endangered species
Original version drawn: 1975
Cartoon reference number: am506
Illustration – a product bar code in the form of a city skyline or city scape
Cartoon showing a bar code in the shape of a city’s financial sector.
A metaphor for commerce and finance
Cartoon reference number: a516
Tree of knowledge cartoon
The tree of knowledge discovers where paper comes from.
Tree of knowledge discovers a disturbing truth.
This cartoon may be used as an environmental cartoon about the use of wood for the production of paper products.
It may also be used as an illustration concerning the human condition – about the way that people, through their own intelligence, have become aware of the ultimate fate of all of us, death. (a fate that other species of animal are possibly blissfully unaware in any deep way).
The cartoon is also about the way that human intelligence as well as bringing about awareness has brought us to the situation in which we are destroying the environment.
A cartoon about paper manufacturing, philosophical insight and the curse of self awareness
Cartoon reference number: a479
A cartoon about self-help books and over consumption
A cartoon of an overweight person trying to reach a self help manual about how to stop over consuming.
He can’t reach the book because he is too fat
This cartoon is about excessive consumption of all types – it depicts an obese person (an over consumer of food) to represent all types of over consumption. The point is that the obese person can’t reach the book because of his obesity.
The cartoon deals with the topics of consumerism, the consumer society, and addictive behaviour, amongst others
Cartoon reference number: a477
A cartoon about child development and shopping.
This joke was inspired by seeing children’s toys such as brightly coloured radios with words printed on them such as “My First Radio”
A humorous idea about nature or nurture, social attitudes, capitalism and social conditioning.
The expression “Born to shop” comes to mind
Cartoon reference number: a473
A cartoon about selective pesticide – butterfly and ladybird friendly insecticide
A joke about insecticide that kills only ugly insects
The cartoon has deeper meanings about how we judge things by appearance, by prejudice or by attractiveness.
It’s also about gardening and the aesthetic values that are deployed in the garden (such as in the selection of plants and flowers, not just in the selection of pests). However it’s also about the wider phenomenon of judging everything, including people, by appearance
Cartoon reference number: a472
See my book of gardening cartoons here.
Over consumption cartoon – or the dangers of the consumer society
A cartoon showing a person vomiting consumer goods, having consumed too many of them
An illustration dealing with the consumer led market economy, the consumer lifestyle and materialism.
First version drawn: 1991
Cartoon reference number: a444
A hunter trapping animals cartoon
Showing a hunter and a trap or snare set to capture a wild animal.
The trap which is baited with food, and a monkey is approaching it with a hook and line to get the food without setting off the trap.
However, the trap is a sham or decoy trap, and the monkey is trapped in another, real trap
A cartoon about hunting, hunters, trapping, trappers, animal intelligence, intelligent apes, snares, clever animals
Cartoon reference number: a470
An extinction cartoon – the reasons why creatures become extinct
A cartoon showing a reconstruction of an extinct animal, with scientists asking why the creature became extinct.
The creature had many features that would have made it very useful to prehistoric man – huge ivory tusks, luxurious fur and tender flesh. Obviously it was hunted to extinction by early hunters
A cartoon dealing with endangered species, palaeontology, fossils and hunter gatherers
Cartoon reference number: a469
An environmental cartoon about the fur trade and fur coats
A cartoon of an affluent fashionable woman buying a fur coat. The shop sign above the coat reads “Rare furs”
The shop assistant is saying “And getting rarer by the day, madam!”
The message of the cartoon is that some people are totally intellectually divorced or disconnected from the environmental and ecological impact of their actions, with economic and other factors such as social status taking precedence over environmental factors.
In this case the woman and the man are only interested in the status of the fur coat as a fashion item and as a status symbol – to the point that they are actually pleased that they are contributing to the endangered species status of the animal that provided the fur for the coat, as the rarer the animal the more valuable the coat becomes – an economic argument (of very dubious merit) rather than an ecological one
Cartoon reference number: a468
The Earth in an hourglass – environmental cartoon
The end of the world is nigh!
In the cartoon the earth is pouring through the hourglass, showing that time is running out for the world as a result of environmental pressures.
The metaphor of the hourglass is particularly relevant to the exploitation of the earth’s natural resources (such as minerals and fossil fuels that are mined), as it is these minerals that are slipping through the hourglass in the image
A cartoon about climate change, global warming and mineral resource depletion.
The original version of this cartoon was drawn in 1991 for my book When Humans Roamed the Earth, published by Earthscan/WWF, and is also in my book The Beast That Ate The Earth.
See an alternative version of this cartoon