While you look to the skies to find the face that shapes the earth, English artist Curtis Hooper looked down and saw one. "It all happened sometime back, when I was photographing the largest open pit oil mining project in North America, from a helicopter," he begins. "I discovered a human face around 200 feet long, formed by the wheels of trucks. It was the most unusual thing I had ever seen. It was truly fascinating, not only because of the phenomenon, but also because of the incredible human expression it had," Hooper goes on.
On his way back from the mine, the artist, known for his portraits of Queen Elizaberth II, Formula One champion Ayrton Senna and artist Salvador Dali among others, couldn’t help thinking about the magnificence of the mystery that he had just encountered. When Hooper returned to his studio, he redrew the image onto a six-feet canvas. "It was a long process. It seemed the image was asking me something. After much thought, I showed it to my friends and they were all intrigued by the expression of empathy on the face. It struck me that this could be the face that could symbolically remind us to be considerate towards our planet." And thus, The Earth Icon came into existence.
Hooper’s heart made him turn that strange subject into a logo that stood for ethical treatment of the environment. Once he was done, he showed it to diverse groups, including CEOs of major international companies, politicians, fashion designers and movie stars, to see their reaction. "The Earth Icon is telling us that we have reached a tipping point. The earth will take no more. It’s a great start and can go a long way in making people aware," said Dr Andrew Weaver, Nobel Prize-winning environmental scientist.
“The logo has been created so that it can easily become part of new fashion designs in T-shirts, jewellery, perfumes, automobiles, shoes and all kinds of accessories. Using this symbol would mean that you care for your planet,” explains Hooper. The organisers are now working out a date to formally unveil The Earth Icon to the world. Sometimes, it doesn’t hurt to take things at face value!