Today’s post is slightly different than normal, I want to talk about the relationship between art and nature. Art can be used in so many different ways to represent nature, and there are lots of amazing artists out there doing this. Nature is our earth and so includes mostly everything, from flowers and animals to people and landscapes.
The history of art
In the past, nature wasn’t just a subject but also was what was used to make the piece of artwork. Natural pigments were used to create the colours and paintbrushes were made from wood and horsehair. As well as this, sticks, bones, plants, leaves and water were used in the artwork.
Think back to when you were a child and you made a den out of sticks and twigs in a wood. That’s art and nature!
Photography is used so much to demonstrate a variety of different things. I think the most powerful photographs are ones that occur in other countries. Perhaps the ones from wars, or animals that focus on their face so we can really see them. There are nice photos too, the ones that include a happy occasion, whether that is a meadow full of wildflowers or a collection of people coming together.
Nature photography is a really big hobby of mine, I’m currently trying to get a good close-up of a bee on a flower – I must have taken at least 100 by now!
This is probably the most obvious form of art, but did you know that some artists donate part of their commission to nature conservation? I discovered that fact this evening and it made me really happy to hear. They are known as ‘Artists for conservation’ (AFC).
There are so many powerful sculptures that convey an important message.
Introducing Dan Rawlings: FUTURE RETURNS
Dan Rawlings is a contemporary British sculptor, he started out as a self-taught artist and was interested in graffiti and street art as a child. This led him to create multi-layered stencils which inspired his current work. His interests lay between nature and its resilience to industry. ‘Future Returns’ is a different way of looking at the future of nature and the earth.
In Dan’s current work, he delves into the exploitation of nature’s resources and what it will do to come back from this. The artwork is very eye-opening and leaves me thinking about what we are doing to the earth and what I can personally do about my actions.
The reclaimed oil tanker is transformed into replicated trees, creating a powerful question about what oil has done to our planet. He says that “the plants in the sculptures are an acknowledgement that heavy industry is the root of so much in our lives” and “the foliage draws attention to nature’s resilience and ability to find a way to thrive“.
To find out more about Dan Rawlings and his incredible artwork, you can visit the Scunthorpe 20-21 Visual Arts Centre until the 25th of September 2021. The opening times are Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-4pm. Dan Rawlings: Future Returns – book now!
Architecture can be thought of as another form of art. I think that it is considered nature architecture when the materials are natural and sustainably sourced. Maybe building houses with renewable energy like geothermal energy and solar panels or lighter paints, double glazing etc.
“Earth without ‘art’ is just ‘eh'”Demetri Martin
Best wishes, Cx