I love the idea of works of art that are built in the landscape from natural materials and that evolve or fade with time. I’ve been a fan of well-known artists like Andy Goldsworthy, David Nash and Ivan Hicks for ages and I am sure that we have all tried balancing stones in tall towers at the beach, training trees into twists and carving a bit of wood to add a little interest to a spot in the garden. So I was pleased to see that the RHS is incorporating living and woven sculptures into their gardens, for instance the willows at Hyde Hall:
More recently, through photographic and social networking websites, I have discovered a new generation of artists who are creating beautiful, haunting pieces. What follows is just a small taster of the talent out there. (Apologies that there are no photo credits).
I am particularly entranced by the work of Spencer Byles, partly because he is working in forests (they already have a magical feel to them) and partly because they are something I feel I can try to recreate on a small scale. Take a look at the work he produced for his ‘A Year in a French Forest’ in the unmanaged forests of Alpes-Maritimes, France. I love Sculpture No 2, a series of tear-shaped doorways leading the eye away into the forest:
In a similar vein, Patrick Dougherty is an American artist who has combined his carpentry skills with his enjoyment of nature to develop works of art that allude to nests, cocoons, hives, and lairs created by interweaving branches and twigs together:
Miha Brinovec, from Slovenia, works with natural materials in the open countryside, but he has also developed what he calls ‘Gravity Art’ (stone balancing). He meticulously calculates how to balance rocks and stones in incredible, gravity-defying structures and towers.
Balancing the constructions allows Miha to meditate and feel closer to nature.
May they fade away slowly and die gracefully!