Originating in the 1960s, Land art, Earth art or Earthworks is an art movement in which the art itself and the landscape it is presented in are visibly linked. It is created in nature using natural materials such as rocks, soil, leaves and other organic media, separating it from an outdoor sculpture or installation. The works often exist in the open, located well away from civilization, left to erode in natural conditions and decompose; fade back into its surroundings in its own time, which is something that makes it so much more beautiful. It protests against the perceived artificiality, plastic aesthetics and ruthless commercialization of other forms of art – rejecting galleries and museums and drawing us back out to nature and its wonderful scenery (although most artists produce a series of photographs to be appreciated in more traditional settings).
I think the reason I’m so drawn to Land Art is due to its way of bringing you back to nature and allowing you to appreciate the beauty of the things we take for granted. I think there’s something really special about its simplicity and organic feel. When you live in a city there’s nothing better than going for a walk in the woods, in the same way seeing a pattern using different plants, or the thought out composition of specifically selected stones would be something so refreshing when constantly studying man-made medias and a more traditional art form – not that there’s anything wrong with those, it’s just refreshing to see something more stripped back without losing any aesthetic quality; it makes us question how much we actually need.
Land Art is predominantly an American movement, however it is also embraced in England by such artists as Andy Goldsworthy and Richard Long. Other key Land Artists include Nancy Holt, Neil Jenney, Andrew Rogers, Alice Aycock, Jan Dibbets, David Medalla, and Gunther Uecker. My Favourite land Artists are probably the above mentioned Andy Goldsworthy, Nils-Udo and Tim Pugh.