Friday, October 24, 2014

Art and Nature

   There is a recent controversy I learned about on the internet involving a woman painting pictures with acrylic on rocks or other natural objects in national parks. This makes me sad. Nature is so awe-inspiring and beautiful, it should be appreciated for that. Humans have their imprint all over the world. Our remaining havens of nature do not need any sort of permanent adornment from humans. We just do not need to alter, manipulate or add-to nature. I'm all about (well done and respectful) graffiti in urban settings. But leave nature be!
    This being said, I think there is a place for human's artistic inclinations to mingle with nature, in nature. When I was little and on beach trips, my family and I would sometimes collect rocks and driftwood from the seashore. We would then find a cozy spot on the sand to make pictures out of our beach combing treasures. I remember this amazing horse my dad once made out of driftwood and sea-smoothed stones. I wish I had a picture of it so I could share it on my blog. But this art was impermanent, and it was more like we were co-conspiring with nature to create art, rather than defacing natures art with our own 'art'. When we made our driftwood pictures on the sand, we knew who the true artist was, and our art was a celebration of nature. We also knew that later in the day, the tide would come in and swallow up our driftwood pictures, tossing the stones and smooth pieces of wood back into the sea where they came from.
    Thee are other ways to intertwine art and nature. Just recently I was at Carkeek Park where throughout the park were displays of art. It was fun to wander through the woods, and then come upon several interesting pieces of art once we were in the grassy meadow area. This art was respectful of nature. It knew it was temporary. It knew the debt it owed nature. The art I saw at Carkeek celebrated nature and worked with the natural setting it was displayed in.



Nicole said...

I read about that woman as well and it made my heart sink. :( It's unbelievable that someone could be so destructive that they feel the need to deface such beautiful land formations with acrylic paint.

And as the park rangers have pointed out, cleaning all of this up is a very expensive, massive project. It will be especially difficult because the national parks are pretty cash-strapped, and this will put a major drain on their already limited funds. Plus, removing this kind of paint can sometimes do even more damage to the rocks.

As you have shown, there are so many creative, thoughtful ways to incorporate nature into art without harming the land.

I think this woman cared less about art and more about her own notoriety.

Amber said...

Hi Nicole,
I didn't even think about the cost of cleanup! I agree with you on where this woman's priorities are in regards to her art.