Environmental art is typically temporary, often not intended to last for longer than a few hours.Often environmental art is meant to improve or broaden ones relationship with the natural world. Environmental art can also refer to art which deals with ecological issues in a social context. Often environmental art is associated with sculpture or photography.
This piece by Andy Goldworthy is just really cool. It is a great example of environmental art, as it’s very transitory, one expects the sand to wash away at any moment. Andy Goldworthy is one of my favorite environmental artists, due to the simple and elegant nature of his work.
I could almost consider Goldworthy’s art as “found art” due to the high availability of his materials – he generally seems to use objects that are easily and naturally available. For example, in Icicle Star above, he uses not only naturally found icicles, but combines them together with his own saliva – talk about an opportunist.
I also really like his goal, which is to better understand nature by participating in it.. It’s a humble and simple goal which mirrors his humble art, like Goosefeathers, found above.
This is especially evident when one considers how other types of environmental art are trying to stir the masses, like the following artists.
This installation by the Claude’s depicts a wrapped up coast, which literally spanned one million square feet. This is a great example of environmental art, as it is obviously not intended to last, but it’s huge and very dramatic, immediately grabbing the viewer’s attention. The piece was held together for 10 weeks, and then disassembled with all materials being recycled.
One of the things I admire about the Claude’s work is the highly public nature. While I’m not 100% sure of what the Claude’s message is, I would argue that the main idea is to bring the public’s attention to the area involved in the piece. For example, the wrapped coast, or the wrapped walkaways are directly in the public sphere… the viewer has no choice but to become involved in the work (especially the walkway!), and it seems to almost challenge the viewer.
This is one of my favorite environmental art pieces, by Jacek Tylicki. I like that it is more social than ecological in it’s nature. It’s simple and has a clear, direct message, allowing the viewer to interact in almost infinite ways. What is especially interesting about it is that it’s constantly able to change – not just the physical nature of it (though the objects do change), but also depending upon how people engage themselves in it, the message can change. For example, if a passerby takes the money, but doesn’t need it, what is that saying about our society?
Environmental art is incredibly interesting and I had no exposure to it before this course. I learned a lot through this assignment and I hope I was a little interesting to you.