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Environmental Art

September 21, 2016

It’s funny how everything in life goes in circles…

When I started writing this blog five years ago one of the first posts I published was called Art for a Sunny Day. It was about a few gardens and parks that have become home for interesting contemporary sculptures. This post got one like. Today, it feels like it’s a new beginning – after such a long absence it’s really hard to get back into the swing of it all… But I’m doing this anyway and the subject I chose is environmental art. Have you heard of it?

A while ago I told you about my BIG project, that is supposed to be turned into a SUPER garden over the next hmm… hundred years? The thing is that I’d love to have some sculptures there (it’s probably too early to think about sculptures at this stage, I should be better investing in more plants, but I’m a stubborn dreamer), so I started looking into all possible options. It would definitely be too expensive to hire proper artists or gifted craftsmen, so I need something different. What’s that so called different? Maybe just a fresh idea or, in other words, something handmade using inexpensive materials that would still look spectacular…

If money wasn’t a problem I’d go for David Annand’s deer or Toby Winterbourn’s cow parsley.

Deer Leap by David Annand, Dundee Technology Park in Dundee (Scotland) (photograph was found here)

Deer Leap by David Annand, Dundee Technology Park in Dundee (Scotland) (photograph was found here)


Large Cow Parsley by Toby Winterbourn (photograph found here)

Large Cow Parsley by Toby Winterbourn (photograph was found here)

And here’s the so called different

Eat for England (photograph can be found here)

Eat for England by Bob Budd (photograph was found here)

But lets get back to environmental art. What is it? Wikipedia provides this definition – environmental art is a range of artistic practices encompassing both historical approaches to nature in art and more recent ecological and politically motivated types of works.

“It can be argued that environmental art began with the Paleolithic cave paintings of our ancestors. (…) More modern examples of environmental art stem from landscape painting and representation (…), yet such art as a “movement” started growing only in the late 1960s or the 1970s. In its early phases it was most associated with sculpture—especially Site-specific art, Land art and Arte povera—having arisen out of mounting criticism of traditional sculptural forms and practices which were increasingly seen as outmoded and potentially out of harmony with the natural environment.”

Environmental artists rather than depiciting the landscape engage in it. They escape the confines of galleries leaving the cities and going out into Nature. Their pieces are either too large or too unwieldy to be collected; they can be represented only by photographs, which of course means the artwork can’t be acquired. (You can read about it more here.)

Well… I was thinking that I could provide some space for proper environmental artists or… come up with something myself. Have a look at a few of my favourite pieces – it shouldn’t be that expensive to make something like that. What do you think?

Parasol by Jaakko Pernu (photograph was found here)

Parasol by Jaakko Pernu (photograph was found here)


Willow Lady by Trevor Leat (photograph was found here)

Willow Lady by Trevor Leat (photograph was found here)


by Cornelia Konrads (photograph was found here)

Schleudersitz by Cornelia Konrads (photograph was found here)

It seems I’ve nearly convinced myself that anything is possible and that my garden sculptures aren’t as impossible as one might think, yet I still need that fresh idea…

9 Comments leave one →
  1. September 22, 2016 12:43 am

    So wonderful! Just love.

  2. September 22, 2016 5:47 am

    They are all awesome! For my own garden I think I’d prefer subtlety such as the cow parsley, but I also love surprises, like coming round a bend and suddenly a giant spoon in the ground.

    I also really like the portals I’ve seen online (and sadly most of my bookmarks are unsorted) made from firewood or branches like the willowlady, but sort of built into the scenery more, sometimes floating with the help of an invisible net – I’m sure you’ve seen them. I also had a link to someone making organic sculptures out of massive oak stumps I think it was. Then there’s the whole setup of doing something creative with your actual firewood instead of just a box with a roof.

    • September 22, 2016 4:57 pm

      My absolute favourite is a giant wooden peg. Have you ever seen it? I didn’t include it in this post because I couldn’t find the artist’s surname, but guess what, today I’m in luck – Mehmet Ali Uysal. Apparently it can be found in the Park Chaudfontaine (Belgium), but if you aren’t planning to go to Belgium any time soon, here it is –

      Doing something with firewood? Yes, I love that idea! I could make a small installation… I’ll need to give some thought to this… (little wheels are already turning). I’m sure that there’s quite a lot that could be done even on a really low budget, I’ll just wait till my subconscious mind does all the calculations and a “digested” fresh idea will appear as if out of nowhere.

      • September 23, 2016 9:14 am

        Oh that pin is awesome.

  3. September 22, 2016 5:49 am

    Oh, and driftwood. I love driftwood. My mum has a couple of big pieces that I really envy her, LOL. Perhaps I should go photograph them, since they can’t be aquired….

    • September 22, 2016 4:59 pm

      I say “yes” to driftwood too! You definitely need to take photographs of your mum’s pieces, as I’m really intrigued now.

  4. October 2, 2016 6:24 am

    Here’s something more you can make for your garden 😉

  5. October 3, 2016 5:26 pm

    Oh, these are all fun! I do like the leaping deer and the willow lady, but that slingshot is pretty comical. Alas, for myself, I am sticking pretty close to “normal”. Right now main main criteria is to be able to plant and mostly forget about. LOL Maybe I need a gardener (along with a cook and maid LOL).

    • October 9, 2016 2:03 pm

      It is said that every woman needs four men in her life: one to do all the jobs, one to earn money, one she could go out with and the last one to keep in her bed. Preferably they shouldn’t ever meet each other… So I guess we could extend this number to seven, if we add a gardener, a cook and a male maid! (The first guy should be a bit happier as his burden has just been made a lot easier…)

      I still haven’t decided on the artwork I’m going to add to my garden. I’m trying to put all the bulbs in before the first frosts arrive. It’s not easy as it’s been raining for the last week or so. I hope the weather is much better at your end? K.

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