Ten projects by French and international artists nominated for the COAL 2023 – Plante! prize. Three projects by students from French art and culture schools have been nominated for the fourth edition of the COAL – Culture & Diversity student prize, in partnership with the Réserves Naturelles de France.

Image credits: © Rita Alaoui

With Plante! the COAL 2023 Prize invites artists from all over the world to sow the seeds of creation and action, to germinate new research and experimentation, so that inventive and resilient plant-based thinking can flourish in the world to come. This fourteenth edition of the Prix COAL is a call to action, to marcotter, to nurture, to reiterate, to hybridize. A call to feel the richness of the plant, its balances and its dynamics, from the seed to the calyx, from the molecule to the ecosystem.

The COAL 2023 Prize’s international call for projects, inviting artists to take up the subject of plants, attracted 757 entries from artists in 57 countries. This success reflects the growing commitment of artists to the environment and ecological issues.


  1. Rita Alaoui (Morocco),
    Lawsonia Cataplasm Garden
  2. Al-Wah’at Collective (Palestine/United Kingdom/Spain),
    Wild Hedges
  3. Laura Cinti (United Kingdom),
    AI in the Sky
  4. Fabiana Ex-Souza (Brazil),
    Trouxas de mandinga
  5. Shivay La Multiple (France/New Caledonia),
    Talking skies
  6. Sandra Lorenzi (France),
    Vert(s) FOUGÈRES
  7. Barbara Mydlak (Poland),
    The book of extinction
  8. Jean-Sébastien Poncet (France),
    The Knotweed Farm
  9. Azra Svedruzic & Demirel Pašalić (Croatia),
    Facing the Sun
  10. Paula Valero Comín (Spain), ATLAS / Rosa Luxemburg Resistant Herbarium



The Awards will be presented on September 20, 2023, on the occasion of the first edition of Sans réserve, COAL’s new art and ecology event at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris.launching a rich season of events to celebrate COAL’s 15th anniversary. The issue of plants will be at the heart of this themed and festive day.


To mark
15 years of the association, COAL has created Sans réserve, a new recurring artistic and festive event that gives a voice to artists committed to ecology.
The event is organized around the traditional COAL Award ceremony and the COAL – Culture & Diversity Student Prize. COAL invites professionals and the general public to a day of encounters, performances, workshops and experiments for a unique and unifying gathering of the new artistic scene committed to ecology.


Sandra Lorenzi (France),

Making yourself sensitive to plants and their prowess is perhaps where it all begins. To highlight the sensitive and emotional capacities of plants,
Sandra Lorenzi
invites us to understand and decipher the language of plants, particularly ferns, an extremely resilient primitive species. Using a musical instrument created from “fern glass”, a vanished glassmaking technique, the project


project captures the melodies of ferns and transcribes them into a musical score, creating a veritable cartography of the land where they grow.

A graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure d’Art de la Villa Arson, Sandra Lorenzi lives and works in Montreuil. His work has been shown in institutions and galleries in France and abroad (Palais de Tokyo, Bozar, Laznia Center for Contemporary Art, South African National Gallery, Mac Lyon…).

Shivay La Multiple (France/
New Caledonia
Talking skies

Always listening to the song of plants and their words,
Shivay La Multiple
takes us on a journey to discover a woody fruit with many uses, shapes and stories: the calabash. Transformed into utilitarian, decorative, musical or religious objects, used as poison or medicine, the calabash is omnipresent in many traditions around the world.

Ciels qui parlent

pays tribute to these vanishing skills through a sound installation broadcasting the memories of the gestures, voices and people who use the calabash.

A graduate of the Haute École des Arts du Rhin, Shivay La Multiple lives and works between Paris and Nouméa in New Caledonia/Kanaky. Her work has been shown at Mexico City’s Women’s Museum, Shanghai’s Bazaar Compatible and the Palais de Tokyo. Iel conducts research residencies in Croatia, Guyana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Senegal and Uganda.

Paula Valero Comín (Spain),
ATLAS / Rosa Luxemburg Resistant Herbarium

Bringing the heritage of plants up to date with that of humans is the project of
Paula Valero Comín
who aims to establish links between the resilience of urban plants and women’s contribution to the protection of life in all its manifestations.

Atlas / Rosa Luxemburg Resistant Herbarium

brings up to date the heritage of a genealogy of women who fought against forms of oppression, by associating each of them with a plant with healing and resistant properties.

Paula Valero Comín is a Spanish artist who graduated from the College of Fine Arts in Valencia and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris. His work has been presented in Spain, France, Cuba and Brazil.

Fabiana Ex-Souza (Brazil),
Trouxas de mandinga

In this quest for historical reparation,
Fabiana Ex-Souza
seeks to sublimate plants’ colonial past into healing potential. The seeds of colonization, such as coffee, cotton, tobacco, corn and beans, become like amulets embroidered on bundles that, once returned to the earth, will sow the seeds of renewal.

Trouxas de mandinga

uses the transmutational virtues of seeds to rethink our relationship with history and restore our ties to the living.

Fabiana Ex-Souza graduated from the Guignard School of Fine Arts in Brazil, and now lives and works in Paris. His performances have been presented at the Fondation Cartier, the Musée national d’art moderne – Centre Pompidou and the Maison de l’Amérique Latine.

Al-Wah’at Collective (Palestine),
Wild Hedges

The history of the cactus is also closely linked to colonization. Introduced to Europe in the 16th century to cultivate a species of cochineal capable of producing a brilliant red dye, it is now considered invasive and a pest. With

Wild Hedges

the collective
seeks to deconstruct the anthropocentric vision of invasive species by using the many potentials of cactus fiber and cochineal pigments in building construction and maintenance, weaving, dyeing, printing and cooking.

Graduates of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths University in London, Areej Ashhab, Ailo Ribas and Gabriella Demczuk of the Al-Wah’at collective live and work between London and Palestine. Their work has been presented in England and Palestine (Arts Catalyst, Sakiya).

Rita Alaoui (France/Morocco),
Lawsonia Cataplasm Garden

Putting plants and their healing properties back at the heart of our healthcare systems is at the heart of Rita Alaoui’s project.
Rita Alaoui
who wants to rethink the way we heal in the face of a pharmaceutical industry that is systematic, interventionist and polluting. Honoring ancestral Moroccan know-how,

Lawsonia Cataplasm Garden

explores the healing powers of henna in the form of a multimedia installation, a healing ritual and an imprint room.

A graduate of Parsons School of Design in New York, Rita Alaoui lives and works in Paris. His work has been exhibited extensively in France and abroad (Galerie Siniya 28, Kunstrai, Paris Internationale Art Fair, Orangerie du Parc Prieuré).

Barbara Mydlak (Poland), The book of extinction

Barbara Mydlak also seeks to bring forgotten skills and plants back to life by transforming plant waste into paper. Decomposing and dying plants, old bouquets, dead leaves and cemetery flowers are all resources for creating The book of extinction, whose content will be dedicated to the container: endangered, toxic, aromatic, discarded or edible plants… This technique will also be used to create four large-scale installations.

A graduate of the Faculty of Visual Arts at the Strzeminski Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz, Poland, Barbara Mydlak lives and works in Belgium. She was recently selected by the Nucleo Kunstenaar programme in Ghent, Belgium.

Laura Cinti (United Kingdom), AI in the Sky

Forgotten or neglected, some plants can also be particularly rare and sought-after. This is the case of Encephalartos woodii, a type of Cycas of interest to Laura Cinti, of which only one specimen, a male, has been found in the wild. This was cloned and propagated, but no females have ever been found, which prevents any natural reproduction. AI in the Sky aims to use artificial intelligence and drone technology to locate a female specimen capable of restarting the plant’s natural cycle.

A graduate of Goldsmiths College – University of London and the University of Hertfordshire, Laura Cinti lives and works in the UK. Her work has been shown in venues such as the MAXXI National Museum, the Van Abbemuseum, the Espace Fondation EDF, the National Theatre and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo and the Royal Institute of Great Britain.

Azra Svedruzic & Demirel Pašalić (Croatia), Facing the Sun

Azra Svedruzic & Demirel Pašalić‘s project is to regenerate natural cycles where they have been disrupted, by planting sunflowers to encourage the reappropriation of polluted and deforested areas. Facing the Sun draws on the practice of ecovention, intervention in the form of ecological art in a degraded environment, to plant fields of sunflowers in the damaged territories of Zagreb, through community actions and healing performances.

Demirel Pašalić & Azra Svedružić are an artist duo living and working in Zagreb, Croatia. They have been creating joint projects since 2015, and have exhibited numerous artworks together in solo exhibitions.

Jean-Sébastien Poncet (France), La ferme des renouées

Local residents are also at the heart of Jean-Sébastien Poncet‘s project, which involves them in the creative process by inviting them to co-produce living soil on a post-industrial site in Saint-Étienne. In a gesture of agricultural design, La ferme des renouées is built around the depolluting potential of an invasive plant, Japanese knotweed. The project takes the form of a social sculpture based on three ritualised technical gestures: withering, treading and composting.

Trained as an industrial designer, Jean-Sébastien Poncet lives and works in Saint-Étienne. His work can be found in contemporary publishing (ESE édition sous étiquette, Galerie Georges Vernay-Caron) and in joint creations in the public space (Etablissement publique d’aménagement de la ville de Saint-Etienne, Grand Lyon, Conseil Général de la Loire).


– The winner of the COAL Prize will be awarded 12,000 euros and benefits from a residence in the heart of the Domaine de Belval, property of the François Sommer Foundation, run by the scientific and educational teams of the Museum of Hunting and Nature and those of the Domaine de Belval. Located in the commune of Belval-Bois-des-Dames, in the French Ardennes, the Domaine de Belval is a veritable observatory of rural life and wildlife, which welcomes artists selected each year for their contribution to the renewal of the vision of the relationship between human and his natural environment. > See the residency chart

– The winner of the Jury’s Special Prize will be awarded 3,000 euros.

– The winner of the NOVA_XX mention is invited by the Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles/Paris to exhibit at the NOVA_XX 2023 international biennial, which will be held from December 2023 to February 2024 at the Centre Wallonie Bruxelles in Paris and outdoor. Founded in 2017 in Brussels by Stéphanie Pécourt, director of the Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles/Paris, NOVA_XX is an international biennial dedicated to artistic, scientific and technological entanglement in a feminine and non-binary mode and in the 4.0 era.

– The winner of the Ateliers Médicis mention receives a residency in Clichy-sous-Bois/Montfermeil, in connection with the regional forest of Bondy, near Paris. The Ateliers Médicis welcome artists of all disciplines to residencies and support the creation of works that are thought out in relation to the territories. They encourage or organise encounters between artists and local residents.

JURY 2023

  1. Cathy Bouvard, Director of the Ateliers Médicis
  2. Thomas Delage, Head of the Mobilising Citizens for Biodiversity Department at the Office Français de la Biodiversité
  3. Maïté Delmas, Honorary Attaché of the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle, co-chair of the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation
  4. Catherine Dobler, Founder of the LAccolade Foundation
  5. Alexia Fabre, Director of the Beaux-Arts de Paris
  6. Christine Germain-Donnat, Director of the Museum of Hunting and Nature
  7. Olivier Lerude, Ministry of Culture
  8. Michael Marder, Philosopher, IKERBASQUE Professor at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) Vitoria-Gasteiz
  9. Alexandra McIntosh, Director of CIAP – Île de Vassivière, centre for contemporary art of national interest
  10. Stéphanie Pécourt, Director of the Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles/Paris
  11. Erik Samakh, Artist
  12. Irène Varano, Sales Director of the ArtConcept Gallery



The COAL Prize is supported by the European Union through the European cooperation programme ACT – Art Climate Transition, the French Office for Biodiversity, the Museum of Hunting and Nature, the Fondation François Sommer and the Fondation LAccolade, as well as by a partnership with the Centre Wallonie Bruxelles/Paris and the Ateliers Médicis.

The French Office for Biodiversity (OFB) is a public institution dedicated to the protection of biodiversity. With its 3,000 agents, it carries out missions to improve knowledge, to police the environment and it works by mobilising society through a group of actors, decision-makers and citizens around biodiversity.

The François Sommer Foundation was founded in 1966 by François and Jacqueline Sommer, pioneers in the implementation of a humanist ecology. Faithful to the commitments of its founders, it works towards the respectful use of natural resources, for sharing the wealth of natural, artistic and cultural heritage and for the protection of a biodiversity in which mankind find its proper place.

LAccolade Foundation’s main goal is to support, promote and encourage artistic creation. It pays special attention to creations, approaches, projects, and actions that are carried by artists in connection with the themes of water, the environment, the fragility of the living and feminism. It also aims to enhance and promote the heritage, that is to say the legacy of women who have had historical or artistic importance.

The Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles/Paris. Through a resolutely de-analytical and transdisciplinary programme, the Centre is mandated to disseminate and promote the work of artists based in the Walloon Federation of Brussels. In this way, it promotes emerging or established approaches, from the periphery to the established.

The Ateliers Médicis are committed to bringing out new and diverse artistic voices and to supporting artists with singular and contemporary languages. They welcome artists from all disciplines in residence and support the creation of works that are thought out in connection with the territories. They encourage or organise encounters between artists and residents. Located in Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil in the department of Seine-Saint-Denis, near Paris, they occupy a prefiguration building. A large-scale facility with national ambitions will be built by 2025, reaffirming the place of artistic creation in the suburbs.


Created in 2010 by the COAL association, the COAL Prize has in forteen years become a vehicle for the identification, promotion and dissemination of artists all over the world who dare to imagine and experiment, to transform territories, lifestyles, organizations and production methods. Together, they contribute to making changes visible, in building a new collective narrative, a new imaginary world, a common heritage, a positive, optimistic and necessary framework, to help everyone find the means and the motivation to implement necessary changes for a shared and livable Earth.

Take a look at


  • About us
    About us

    COAL mobilizes artists and cultural actors on societal and environmental issues and accompanies the emergence of a new culture of ecology through its actions such as the COAL Prize, curating exhibitions, advising institutions and communities, European cooperation, and the animation of conferences, workshops and the first dedicated website


    COAL has been awarding the COAL Prize Art and Environment every year since 2010 and the COAL Student Prize - Culture & Diversity since 2020.

  • Projects

    Major projects linked to the major events in political ecology, in connection with natural or urban environments.

  • Artistic direction
    Artistic direction

    About fifty exhibitions throughout France, cultural actions, works in the public space, and project support to contribute to the emergence of a new culture of ecology.


    Cooperation programs on a European and international scale, support for institutions in their ecological transition through tailor-made accompaniment and training, promotion of arts and ecology issues through publications and numerous conferences and workshops.