Aphiraa Gowry

Aphiraa Gowry is a multi-faceted artist; she makes paintings, digital drawings, photography, garments, and a fusion of these mediums. She has a fundamental instinct, throughout her artistic initiatives, to explore and integrate eco consciousness— as a set of practical principles, but also as an overall worldview framed by certain values. She feels that young artists have a special power to contribute solutions to the daunting environment-related challenges of our time, from climate change to refugee crises, by using tools of artistic expression to expand understanding of these issues.

Many of her community members also come from families streaked with marginalization and violence. She herself was raised in a refugee family, who escaped genocide in Sri Lanka. Most importantly of all, she has lived experience in areas of the world where the climate crisis is being felt most acutely, from tropical rainforests, occupied lands, to remote islands. She has taken the time to understand and build inter-community solidarity between vulnerable communities who are being systematically harmed, or even erased, by an environmental disaster; and she is working to channel her passion for human rights into artwork which can raise awareness around these issues.

Creating her sustainable clothing line is much more than making well-designed clothing. It's addressing ethical labour conditions of factory workers, preventing long-term dangerous health effects of farmers, and minimizing the dangerous environmental impact of fast fashion. Most importantly, it represents an alternate solution for how revolutionary our wardrobes and sense of style can be.

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Jerrold McGrath