Our bond to nature and the role of art expressing this
May 29, 2020
Our bond to nature has been depicted since the very early times of cave drawings. It was the very first illustration of the interrelatedness between man and nature, our environment, the Earth. Often we understand art as something static, relating to fixed objects that can be either in the form of paintings or statues. Nevertheless, art is fluid and changing in forms, ways of expression, materials used and tools to convey a message, like for example our bond to nature.
Just as our Earth and nature is shaped by external forces, art reflecting it is in continuous change and transformation. The question arises whether an artist can contribute to changing the environment by providing a different perspective in the way we look at nature, all that surrounds us? To pose questions and especially such questions is often more valuable than the answers themselves. Just by asking the questions, answers are already found.
“Understanding a question is half an answer” said Socrates. In fact, many artists aim at posing questions in order to raise awareness.
Artists who create with the intention of voicing a concern, a message of awakening, use very different ways to do so. Most often they choose the nature, landscape environment and geographical places to create together with nature something different, unique.
Artworks that are temporary and fluid can be site- specific, which have limited lifespans. They do not fit in the old concept of art that is a fixed object, to be viewed, brought and sold. Their intention and messages are more powerful than their material and objective form.
Many artists today pose questions to the destructive habits of humans imposed on nature, and their damaging impacts on the environment. They are using their artistic expressions and non-traditional ways to make their voices heard and to bring awareness to these questions.
While impressionists showed the beauty of our environment and nature, its various features and ever changing moments, today land, environmental artists have become activists, showcasing with their artworks the damages, the effects, the harsh reality of pollution, waste, etc. They reflect on the devastating effects of the continuous destruction that is on its way.
The link between art and nature has changed from wanting to express its beauty to highlighting the effects it is undergoing, and to highlight the importance to change this until it is not too late.
It requires creativity not only in art, but also in the way humanity approaches the environment issues and problems.
Artists can take up the role of opening up discussions, they are at the forefront of visionaries. As activists, they raise questions, leading the way to further discussions - including experts, organizations and other actors - in this fight for transformation. They have the potential to be the first to trigger the chain of awareness.
Artists expressing our bond to nature, hope that through their works the viewers gain a sense of responsibility, and thus can raise their awareness. The process of questioning is giving the problem a form, a face, a texture and a feeling. The viewer becomes part of the question and thus gains awakening to a power and possibility to change, that he or she herself can partake in, just by being aware and feeling the message that goes beyond discussions or talks, taking note of the issues.
In fact, art as such, forming not only the landscape of our Earth but also the landscape of our collective consciousness opens up the doors to new possibilities. It showcases that anything is possible, that Man - who created the destruction, who limits itself - can be the very source of re-building, preserving the Earth for all generations to come. Art is a force of change for all those artists, activists, advocates, who dedicate their individual and artistic paths to pave the way to new avenues, new worlds, new understandings.
“The im of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance“
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