French artist Estelle Chrétien often works with the earth, producing land art installations that subtly weave a human experience into the natural landscape. In her work Ground Operation, Chrétien dug a small division into a lawn which she then stitched back together with electrical cable like thread into a wound. This 39-foot piece remains open at the end however, leaving us to question whether it is slowly healing or perhaps coming apart. (via This Isn’t Happiness, The Creators Project)
In this 2012 installation, street artist Never2501 assembled a variety of found vegetation to form an eerie skeleton at the base of some steps in the idyllic gardens of the Museo Archeologico Paolo Giovio in Como, Italy. The piece was titled “In Cammino Per Trasformarsi Nell’istante Presente” (Moving to Transform into the Present) and could be interpreted as a harbinger of the seasons with the decaying root stumps and limbs pulled from a nearby forest, fit together without aid of any additional materials. Or maybe it’s just an incredibly disturbing thing to stumble onto when walking through the woods? You can see more photos of the temporary piece here, and follow Never2501’s more recent work on Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness, StreetArtNews)
Sapporo-based freelance illustrator and artist Baku Maeda tends to see the world a bit differently. His simple observations and humorous interventions like Leaf Beasts and Ribbonesia have gone viral the last few years. He recently shared this fun series of clipped square flowers on his Tumblr and Instagram which he refers to as Bit Leaves.
Situated just south of Las Vegas in the middle of the desert stands seven stacks of brightly colored boulders— forms which appear to be in a line or cluster depending on how you view their arrangement. From one side the structures line up neatly in a row, while from the other they seem to be positioned in one giant mass. The cairn-like towers are Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone‘s “Seven Magic Mountains” and stand between 30 and 35 feet tall. Each contains between three and six human-sized masses which are all locally-sourced limestone painted an assortment of dayglow hues.
The stacked forms are intended to appear both stable and on the edge of collapse, similar to their duality of being both nature made and artificial. “Seven Magic Mountains is an artwork of thresholds and crossings, of seclusion and gathering, of balanced marvels and excessive colors, and the contrary air between the desert and the city lights,” states Rondinone. “Seven Magic Mountains elicits continuities and solidarities between the artificial and the natural, between human and nature.”
The site specific work was produced by Art Production Fund, New York and the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno. The monumental piece of land art will be on view for two years beginning in May of 2016. (via Juxtapoz)
In 1977, sculptor David Nash cleared an area of land near his home in Wales where he trained a circle of 22 ash trees to grow in a vortex-like shape for an artwork titled Ash Dome. Almost 40 years later, the trees still grow today. The artist has long worked with wood and natural elements in his art practice, often incorporating live trees or even animals into pieces. The exact site of Ash Dome in the Snowdonia region of northwest Wales is a closely guarded secret, and film crews or photographers who are permitted to see it are reportedly taken on a circuitous route to guard its location. Nash shares in an interview with the International Sculpture Center:
When I first planted the ring of trees for Ash Dome, the Cold War was still a threat. There was serious economic gloom, very high unemployment in our country, and nuclear war was a real possibility. We were killing the planet, which we still are because of greed. In Britain, our governments were changing quickly, so we had very short-term political and economic policies. To make a gesture by planting something for the 21st century, which was what Ash Dome was about, was a long-term commitment, an act of faith. I did not know what I was letting myself in for.
Dr. James Fox recently visited the artwork for the BBC’s Forest, Field & Sky: Art out of Nature (YouTube) featuring six different land artists in Britain. You can see an excerpt regarding Ash Dome below, as well as footage of Nash working on the piece further down. (thnx, Elsie!)
Minnesota-based graphic designer Paul Johnson has long been fascinated with creating art in the dirt, so to speak, every since drawing in sand with a stick at the beach for hours on end as a child. In college he soon learned of several modern artists working at the intersection of land science and art such as Robert Smithson, Andy Goldsworthy and Jim Denevan. In his Earthworks in Motion series Johnson utilizes some of the same patterns and general ideas from these artists but sets them in motion using meticulous stop motion animation techniques.
Filmed in various nature preserves, parks, and wildlife refuges around the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, each animation involves the careful placement of sticks, snow, ice, light, and rocks to create moving geometric formations. We’ve seen a number of animated land art pieces here on Colossal, but Johnson’s precision and ingenuity really set these apart. Watch the video above or see new clips as he creates them on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)