Photo & Video

Amazing, Degradable, Environmentally Focused Artwork

Written by Mahonri Gibson

What is Environmental Art?

While there is no fixed definition, environmental art is considered to be any artwork that improves our connection to the natural world. Much of it is made to degrade, collapsing and disappearing over time, reabsorbing back into the natural environment.

A lot, maybe most, environmental art is built fixed into a specific location, making it difficult to view in traditional art museums. The best way to view this art tends to be online, through the gorgeous photographs taken by the artist, unless you can find a piece near you to visit in person.

A Small Selection of Artists and Their Art

Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist producing sculpture and land art situated in natural and urban settings. He currently lives in Penpont, Scotland.

While he doesn’t seem to have a personal website, Wikipedia has more about Andy, and his many photographic books showcasing his sculptures are available from Amazon.

 

Nils–Udo

Nils–Udo is a Bavarian artist who has been creating environmental artwork since the 1960’s. His artworks have appeared in Europe as well as Japan, Israel, India and Mexico. Nils–Udo works onsite utilizing found materials and the natural elements to construct these impressive sculptures.

You can learn more about him at the Green Museum, or check out Art in Naturea photographic collection of his work released in 2002.

 

Richard Shilling

Richard Shilling is an artist based in Northwest England. He originally started creating Land Art after coming across some of Andy Goldsworthy’s stone sculptures in the remote hills of northern England while out hiking, and his early art was heavily inspired by Goldsworthy’s pieces.

He has since developed his own very distinctive style, producing many amazing sculptures from found materials. Be sure to visit his website for more information: http://www.richardshilling.co.uk/

 

 Chris Drury

Chris Drury is another British environmental artist. His body of work includes ephemeral, degrading sculptures as well as more permanent structures built of stone.

Some of his most famous lasting works are “cloud chambers”, which darkened caverns constructed of local rock, turf, and other materials. These chambers have a hole in their roofs which act as a pinhole camera, projecting images of the sky onto the walls and floor of the chamber.

More of Chris Drury’s work can be found at his website, http://chrisdrury.co.uk/

 

There’s so much more…

For an excellent collection of environmental artists and their work on the web, go check out the Green Museum, an online museum dedicated to environmental art.

About the author

Mahonri Gibson

Mahonri Gibson is a social entrepreneur, environmentalist, sailor, and photographer. He spent 6 years in the U.S. Air Force as a pararescueman, before deciding to do something more useful with his life.