Environmental Warnings series

Environmental Warnings

Meera Sethi

A Space Windows

June 17 – July 31, 2010

 Inspired by the work of writers Vandana Shiva and Arundhati Roy, Environmental Warnings is a comment on the invisible, silent toxins we encounter everyday. Using the language of street signs, I have created symbols that raise our awareness of the many environmental threats that cross an urban space.

Pesticides, toxic water, landfills, deforestation, nuclear testing, plastics, GMO seeds, gas spills, carbon emissions, water wastage/shortages, energy wastage/shortages, ozone reduction and the patenting of staple foods such as rice are some of the issues I explore. These signs are universal as the toxins are global. Although they impact us differently depending on our privilege, they impact us all. They make equal sense in Toronto or New Delhi, Bangkok or New York.

The use of soft, pastel colours is deliberate. The colours and the messages are incongruous. The colours signal calm while the symbols signal danger. This irony is a comment on the food industry that uses pleasing packaging to sell us products that are toxic to our health, the environment and society. The childlike colours also reference the impact these invisible, silent toxins are having on children. 


Meera Sethi is a visual artist working in the mediums of painting, drawing, graphic design and photography. As a Canadian of Indian origin, her multidisciplinary work addresses the joys and challenges of living in a “third space” where values and images from two distinct cultures collide creating ruptures, fissures, and hybrid ways of being and doing. Meera’s aesthetic is full of minute detail, lush colour, geometric abstractions and minimalist clarity.