Artist addresses deforestation crisis through powerful camouflage art

The climate-inspired statement hopes to spur action from policymakers and corporations to protect the world’s Ancient and Endangered Forests.

British Columbia, Tuesday, September 13, 2022 — Canopy, the award-winning international environmental not-for-profit organization, has collaborated with international bodypainting artist Filippo ioco, known for his unique style of camouflaging and painting the human body into every imaginal environment from natural to artificial, to produce a series of evocative images capturing the body blended into old-growth forests and clear cut landscapes.

A statement of humanity’s connection and dependence on the world’s rapidly disappearing forests, the art aims to compel local and global decision-makers to take action to keep old-growth forests standing. Undisturbed by human impact for millennia, old-growth forests are highly effective at capturing and storing climate-warming greenhouse gasses, have been identified by world-leading scientists as 30% of the climate solution, and are critical to addressing the biodiversity crisis.

“We’re living through the extreme impacts of the climate crisis, from the historic drought across California to the devastating floods in Pakistan. Keeping the world’s irreplaceable forests standing is the best chance we have to stabilize our climate and restore biodiversity,” said Nicole Rycroft, Executive Director of Canopy. “Now is the time to take every action we can to protect these vital ecosystems. We hope this art will inspire decision-makers, across government and corporate leadership, to make the changes we need to save the planet.”

“I’ve always been inspired by natural places. These forests are a place of wonder and it’s heartbreaking to know that irreplaceable old-growth forests like these continue to be logged here in British Columbia and around the world,” said artist Filippo ioco. “We protect the things we love. Hopefully, these images will help decision-makers to do just that.”

Over 3.2 billion trees are cut down every year for fashion textiles like rayon, and paper packaging, threatening the future of the world’s most vital and biodiverse ecosystems, including forests on British Columbia’s coast where the painting took place.

A recent report by the Stand Research Group found that over 55,000 hectares of old-growth deferrals identified by the British Columbia Government are at imminent risk of logging — with significant areas having already been destroyed or in the process of being cleared. Globally, unprecedented tree cover loss in the tropics last year unleashed more than 2.5Gt of carbon dioxide emissions and that’s not including the emissions released from the logging of Northern forests.

Canopy works with world-leading brands like Lush, H&M, and LVMH to shift wood-based supply chains towards more sustainable alternatives, to ensure the world’s most vital forests don’t end up as packaging for beauty products and takeout containers, or fabric for next season’s fashion.

The final images are available for publication here (google users). They were taken by photographer Alex Barendregt and produced in Vancouver Island’s old-growth forest landscapes, both intact and clear-cut.

For more information or to arrange an interview contact:

Mike Hudema
Canopy Communications Director