… we humans … are the only species that creates waste that nature cannot digest. –Martin Hill

By Tony Orman

Sculptures with a strong message

Fine Line: Twelve Environmental Sculptures Encircle the Earth by Martin Hill and Philippa Jones is a most unusual book as it’s about a series of 12 ephemeral sculptures around the world, that begin and end in New Zealand — a 25 year project!

The sculptures were made in wilderness sites using natural materials at each locality. 

Best described as “ecological art”, the twelve sculptures are connected by a symbolic line circling the globe. The underlying yet strong theme, is the delicate relationship between economic “prosperity” and ecological poverty.

The message via the imaginative sculptures is very clear as co-author Martin Hill calls on the need for humans to “redesign” their way of living to become compatible with the planet’s health and ecology.

“That the world’s environment is in trouble is obvious. We have all heard about global warming, deforestation, acidification of oceans, extinction of species and a host of other potentially catastrophic problems all created by we humans who are the only species that creates waste that nature cannot digest,” he writes.

The privileged people have called the shots

In an “Afterword”, UK environmentalist, eminent writer and broadcaster Jonathan Porritt ponders why the power of reason and authority of science have proved insufficient, decade after decade, to shift humankind onto a more sustainable path.

“A big part of that is pure politics: people who have done very well for themselves out of ruthlessly (or just unknowingly) exploiting other people and the planet have simply dug in, year after year, to protect their privileged positions in society. Their money and ‘leverage’ have ensured that politicians—have constantly turned away from the gathering evidence about accelerating climate change, worsening equality and collapsing ecosystems.”

This is one big beautiful book with a strong environmental message. Bear that in mind as you admire the often stunning photography and the deep significance of the project.

It’s an amazing book about an amazing project. Beautifully produced by Batemans it’s visually riveting with some superb photography and a great absorbing thought-provoking read.

Fine Line: Twelve Environmental Sculptures Encircle the Earth by Martin Hill and Philippa Jones, is published by Bateman Books, NZ, RRP $69.99