ARTivist Janina Rossiter draws the blue line to protect the Ocean

ARTivist Janina Rossiter draws the blue line to protect the Ocean

Janina Rossiter is a multi-award winning author and award winning artist, famous for her Mangrove illustration at COP26, her children books, her school talks and her engagement against plastic pollution, single use and waste, and for the protection of the Big Blue and marine lives.

Janina Rossiter – ©JaninaRossiter

She will take part of the #ArtforChange program at the CHANGE NOW 2022 Summit at the Grand Palais Éphémère, Paris, from 19th to 21st May. We caught up with her prior to this international event, as part of our reflection on the role of art in the transition to a more sustainable world.

1. Could you please introduce us to the work that will be featured at the CHANGE NOW 2022 Summit in Paris? 

My name is Janina (Nina) Rossiter and I’m an ARTivist and children’s book author. My latest children’s books,1 2 3 Who’s Cleaning the Sea? and DiamondsHearts, and Sea Stars, focus on plastic pollution and endangered sea creatures, and helping to empower young children to feel the need to protect our wildlife and to make a difference. My books and my artwork are the core of all my work.

I hope I can inspire children to create artwork and to set them on a little journey. A journey that helps them discover the problems our planet is facing and that can create change for a better future.

At CHANGE NOW 2022, I will be part of the #artforchange program and I will be showing artworks from my book 1 2 3 Who’s Cleaning the Sea? which raises awareness of plastic pollution of the oceans.

1 2 3 Who’s Cleaning the Sea illustration and book cover – ©JaninaRossiter

2. Would you tell us how it fits into this manifestation? and in your personal artistic approach?

I try to raise awareness with beautiful images and to give them a little twist. Something that the viewer can think about.

But I do that mainly because I work with young children and I’m very sensitive to the fact that environmental issues can be upsetting and, with 7-years of school-visit experience with my children’s books, I’m very conscious not to scare or overwhelm the children.

Janina Rossiter and school children on how to preserve the ocean from single use pollution – ©JaninaRossiter

The experience aims to be positive and to ensure that they feel motivated to make a difference.

I went to the CHANGE NOW Summit in 2020, and ever since it has been a dream of mine to be part of it.

I feel immensely thankful that this dream is becoming a reality. I also think that no-one can solve a problem on their own and we need to work as a team; collaboration is therefore key for a better future and a healthy planet.

Janina working with ink on illustration for her book Diamonds, Hearts & Sea Stars! – ©JaninaRossiter

I am a mixed media artist. I love to play around with art techniques that remind me of water, such as fluid art and alcohol inks. I love to work with fluid art and ink pens, more precise with the stippling technic. After my Tovi the Penguin children’s book series, I wanted to try a more creative route and started a concept book series. I was looking for backgrounds I could add behind my illustrations and found a technique called alcohol ink. I fell in love with that technique and I would say it also partly because of that technique that I wanted to write a book about ocean life, which then made me discover plastic pollution which in turn put me on my journey of becoming an ARTivist.

3. To what extent do you think art can contribute to a transition towards a more sustainable future? Do you think this contribution may be sufficient at an individual level or that it should be part of a collective approach?

Art means a freedom of hearing a voice that would have normally not spoken up. Which fits my case very well. As a person I would have been way too shy to express my views, but I felt I could do it through my artwork. After four years in the ARTivist world my artwork has given me enough confidence to also speak up in person. More artists have become ARTivists and I think this is a very positive trend. I want to encourage other artists to use this medium to make a difference and I believe that art plays a crucial role for a more sustainable future.

Janina Rossiter here with Mangrove in front of the Oxo Gallery in London – This artwork raised money at the Explorer Against Extinction event, was exhibited for two weeks in the Leaders Lounge at Cop26 and won the Sketch for Survival Wild Spaces Artist of the Year 2021 – ©JaninaRossiter

How can we make people care to live a more sustainable life-style? It’s a difficult question but I find that through ARTivism we can trigger emotions and make people care about an issue.

I think addressing only adults is not the right way to go forward.

Adults are often set in their ways and putting the planet first is not something that we have been taught from a small age. This is mainly the reason why I think it’s so important to give school talks and to teach children from a very small age, that everything is connected, that the world’s resources are limited and that with every action we take we should think of the consequences it has for the planet.

We will not change if we don’t understand the problems or if we are not aware of the consequences of our actions. I firmly believe that education is key to understanding how each of us can make a difference, because our future depends on our actions today.

To contact Janina Rossiter:

You may follow Janina Rossiter on her website, as well as the social networks. Should you wish to contact her, she will answer requests over Instagram or LinkedIn

Her next exhibitions this year are listed on her website and are:

May 2022 – CHANGENOW Summit – Grand Palais Éphémère

June 2022 – The Explorers Club – New York (one of her artworks is in The Explorers Club WOW Auction for World Oceans Week)

August 2022 – Colorida Art Gallery in Portugal

September 2022 – Hors les Murs de JPO – Chatou France 

November 2022 – Sketch for Survival – Explorers Against Extinction – Dundas Gallery London (part of the invitational collection)

November 2022 – Sketch for Survival – Explorers Against Extinction – OXO Gallery London (part of the invitational collection)