Today, 22 March 2016, is UN World Water Day.
World Water Day is part of many global campaigns to raise awareness for our needs as a world populace to both work harder to preserve our resources, and to find ways to invest in the livelihoods of millions of people around the world who don't have access to basic clean water.
This year, our friends over at Gallereplay in Berlin partnered with the UN and their Water Day Campaign to create some inspiring and artistic images to accompany various statistics relating to water around the world.
The result is a beautiful collection of cinemagraphs, as currently featured on Gallereplay's site.
As contributors, we could choose a few statistics that we felt inspired to create an image for, and I opted for two.
My first submission was for a statistic that I had not heard of before, but it said: "Nearly 50% of all working adults work in jobs related to water".
Conceptualising such a vast statistic presented some challenges, but I decided to instead opt for a concept as simple as it can get: a drop of water.
Water drops in themselves, especially in slow motion, are almost an epitome of elegance and beauty, and I couldn't think of a better way to approach this statistic than with a purely nicely lit shot of a water drop in slow motion.
To visualise the statistic, I coloured half of the drop blue, also representative of water, to portray a half-coloured drop of water that, really simply, captures the enormous statistic.
This was the result below. While not part of Gallereplay's campaign selection, it has been submitted to the UN for further use in their marketing.
The second statistic, was one I was in two minds about for a while. After deciding on the drop as my 'main' submission, the concept for this statistic sat in the back of my head for a bit, and I thought I'd just do it anyway so that I follow through on doing two submissions.
Firstly, the statistic said: "20% of the world's aquifers are being over-exploited, leading to permanent damage of those natural resources".
With this concept, once again I wanted to keep it simple, as the statistic was so broad, and I didn't think that a shot of a localised natural water resource would really capture the gravity of such a frightening statistic.
So my concept was to present five water glasses, all with some level of activity. To keep things simple, I opted for the use of a straw, just like a child would play with their glass of water and straw. Each of the glasses had a unique activity, as I didn't want to create a copy-and-paste effect over four glasses with activity, and I wanted unique action in each glass to represent a whole host of different human activities that lead to over exploitation of our resources.
The final glass on the right is empty, portraying the over-exploited resources and aquifers, but I also wanted to keep its straw moving to show that the activity doesn't stop there, and across the board, humans are continually pushing their exploitation too far.
Finally, I also wanted the image to be quite moody, contrasty and desaturated, to add to the intensity of how much of a drastic effect we are all having on the planet.
Here is the resulting cinemagraph.
From a cinemagraph point of view, this one is possibly one of the most unique cinemagraphs that I've created. I've done previous ones where there were two loops in the shot, each looping perpetually and perfectly, but FIVE? Five proved to be a difficult one to accomplish but, having never been someone to let a cinemagraph scare me off, managed to break it in and put it to work.
It's really cool to see how cinemagraphs are increasingly being used to raise awareness and communicate to large audiences, and being part of a project for the UN, for such an important issue, is certainly really rewarding as an artist.