Sample Art Paper on Positive Effects Of Land Art On The Environment
Question 4: Consider the key issues that Environmental Art (or Land Art) was responding to in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Referring to the work of 2 artists, analyze whether their art has had positive and/or negative effects on the environment.
During the late 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, environmental artistic practices to explore the relationship between human beings and the environment increased. In the early 1960s and early 1970s, artists started exploring the beauty of nature and addressing negative social concerns through environmental art. The trend of using art to appreciate the environment hastened in 1993during the 81st Annual Conference of the College Art Association in Washington. Nils Udo and Andy Goldsworthy from Germany and Britain are iconic artists who championed environmental art. During the late 20th century and early 21st century, artists began reflecting and using nature to call attention to the impacts of human activities on the environment.
Nils Udo is an accomplished environmental artist from Germany. Nils Udo began his painting career around 1960 in Paris and relocated to Bavaria, working on ecology. Udo had an adoration to the European environment and interpreted nature through art. He interacted with the environment and made magnificent structures that reflected links between landscape, horticulture, and art. Udo’s art is categorized into sculptures and urban art. To make his art, Udo only used materials naturally available in the area (Jani 2018). Nature inspires Nils Udo to make constructions, plantings, and organize found elements to impact the environment positively.
Nils Udo used art to trigger emotions of tranquility, serenity, and hope. Udo inspired people to interact and appreciate the environment using the ‘potential utopias.’ The Bavarian artist used drawings from colorful flowers and reflective water bodies to trigger emotional reactions. For instance, Nils Udo planted long lines of marigold flowers to cover a prehistoric construction to evoke emotions of sacredness. Emotions play a vital role in inspiring people to feel personal responsibility and engage in pro-environmental actions (Gordon 2021). With a magnified scope, artistic media serve a critical purpose to evoke visual and imaginative meta-emotions to influence positive environmental impact.
Udo explored peoples living environments by choosing urban landscapes to popularize his artwork. He campaigned for a sustainable lifestyle by creating nature-related arts that portrayed the environmental risk the planet was facing (Gordon 2021). After the 1960s, Nils Udo moved his art from studio painting to creating art in the urban space. Nils Udo would create art of planted trees and shared images of the art to the World. Among his outstanding achievements in monumental work are the blue flower and the Stone-Age-Man.
The blue flower is one of many urban arts by Udo established in Munich, Germany. The blue flower is a plantation of 10000 wildflowers planted together in a pattern. The blue flower symbolizes the serenity created by nature under good maintenance. By planting naturally assembled flowers for aesthetic value, Land art acknowledges people the beauty of nature (Jani 2018). Figure 1 below is an image of the blue flower. Environmental art to promote good nature relation to implicate beauty improves the environment.
Figure 1 The blue flower landscape
Source: (Grande 2021)
Stone-Age-Man is a monumental sculpture set up in Wittgensteiner-Sauerland, Germany, in 2001. Nils Udo works in a natural setting outside of museums and art studios and uses only organic materials. Stone-Age-Man illustrated in Figure 2 is a 150 tons stone that Udo discovered in a quarry mine in Berleburg, Germany, and surrounded it with thick fir tree poles. Using monumental sculptures such ad the Stone-time-man stimulates new methods of exploring land art (Carolina 2021). The Stone-Time-Man demonstrates the nature of time by reflecting on the fragility, vulnerability, and temporality of human survival.
Figure 2 Stone-Time-Man. Andry Goldsworthy.
Source: (Alamy 2012)
Andy Goldsworthy was an iconic British artist with significant accomplishments. Goldsworthy used art to inspire social activism by raising ecological concerns and providing solutions. He was interested in utilizing creativity in the art to raise awareness about the ecosystem (McRae 2018). Goldsworthy’s interest in nature began at a young age when he worked as a gardening boy when not in school. When Goldsworthy attended Bradford School of Art (1974-75), he developed a preference for outdoor art rather than working in the studio. During the late 20th century and early 21st century, Goldsworthy extensively explored nature and completed major environmental art projects.
In the late 20th century, Goldsworthy often made art made of snow and ice. Goldsworthy waited for freezing temperatures to make snow rings and ice arch. Goldsworthy used ice to build Ice Arch in Brough, Cumbria; 1985 and Hampstead Health, London. He also made four snow rings in the North Pole and photographed them. The snow and ice sculptures demonstrated in Figures 3 and 4 were made only of organic materials and were to last only for a short time (Carolina 2021). The four snow rings marked the exact position of the North Pole. Goldsworthy invented challenging and complex environmental art to inspire positive environmental outcomes.
Figure 3 Snow Rings at the North Pole.
Source: (Achipilago 2021)
Figure 4 Ice Sculptures Andy Goldsworthy
Source: (Covell 2018)
Among the significant explorations by Goldsworthy during the early 21st century is the Presidio’s historic forest, San Francisco. Presidio was initially home for US veterans until 1994, when the army relocated from Presidio, and it became a national park. Goldsworthy first visited Presidio in 2006, where he connected with the forest, people, and nature interplay (Meier 2020). As a result of inspiration by Goldsworthy and other artists, Presidio became a historic landmark of visitors and motivated the planting of 400 trees. Between 2008 and 2014, Goldsworthy made Spire, Wood Line, Tree Fall, and Earth wall arts from his exploration of the Presidio.
The spire was the first art installation to be established by Goldsworthy in the park’s historic forest. The spire is 15 feet wide, 100 feet tall, made of enormous cypress trunks fastened together. Small cypress trees are planted at the base to replace the old ones that have faded. Natural materials used to create the four art pieces were from Presidio. The spiral illustrated in figure 5 below represents the cycle of life when old cypress trees die out; young ones replace them (Tobias 2017). Spiral evokes thoughts of renewal and the altering of nature over time.
Figure 5 The Spire.
Source: (Presidio 2020).
In 2010 and 2011, Goldsworthy was inclined to make the Wood Line. He revitalized the eucalyptus that the army had planted in rows by filling the gaps left after some of the eucalypti had died out (Shobeiri 2021). The Wood Line adjacently extends along the Lovers’ Lane in Presidio forest and exceeds 1,200 feet in length. The Wood Line is a great visitor attraction and gives Presidio a serene landscape.
Figure 6 Wood Line.
Source: (Presidio 2020)
The Tree Fall is a building initially used to protect gun powder and munitions from catalyzing explosions in case of an accidental explosion. The building has four-foot-wide walls, a doomed roof, and a ceiling made of clay (Carolina 2021). The Tree fall is a sculpture that portrays a tree’s stem hanging from the roof made of clay. The roots of the Tree are not visible and buried in the roof. Tree Fall demonstrates the relationship between the ecosystem and temporality of man-built structures.
Figure 7 Tree Fall by Andry Gordon
Source: (Presidio 2020)
The Earth Wall was constructed using eucalyptus branches that are curved against each other and attached to a wall. The artifact is engulfed in a rammed wall using archaeological tools. In making the artifact, eucalyptus branches were curved and stuffed in the rammed wall. Andy Goldsworthy made the artifact buried it, and later excavated around it on the wall. The Earth Wall demonstrates the process of decomposition underground and the significant archaeological nature of Presidio (Fearing 2019). Figure 1 below illustrates Earth Wall art by Andy Goldsworthy.
Figure 8: The Earth Wall.
Source: (Presidio 2020)
Environmental art establishes a positive relationship between man and nature. Environmental artists are dedicated to preserving the environment rather than disrupting it, and they use natural raw materials such as leaves, flowers, soil, ice, snow, water, and stones. Art positively shapes environmental behavior to stimulate positive climate change and limit pollution. Nils Udo and Andy Goldsworthy use natural objects to create art that communicates the importance and threats of nature. Raising awareness using art provides the basis for tackling critical environmental challenges. Nils Udo and Andy Goldsworthy approach environmentalism in a different manner through different techniques and styles. Mankind and the environment are related, and art-enhancing a solid relationship between them implicates positive outcomes.
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