Art follows Nature. I am sure someone said that, at one time or another, but I am not sure who. Nevertheless, this quotation is surely applicable to Andy Goldsworthy, a renown environmental/land artist. Goldsworthy’s recent documentary, Leaning into the Wind (2017), continues to chronicle his life’s work involving creating aesthetic expressions in a natural setting while utilizing only natural or found materials that are usually native to a particular natural setting.
The new documentary follows a similar pattern as Goldsworthy’s Rivers and Tides (2001), that is, documenting the thoughtful and laborious process of creating found art in Nature. Both films are a product of German director Thomas Riedelsheimer and both films feature an eclectic musical soundtrack by Fred Frith.
Two distinct differences between the two films, that are separated by a span of 16 years, are the inclusion of Goldsworthy’s now adult daughter Holly as his creative associate, she appeared as a child in the 2001 film, and the exposition of Goldsworthy’s significantly deeper artistic immersion into wild natural settings.
Maya Lin, who is well-known for her Vietnam Veterans Memorial project, is famously involved with land art or landscape architecture. She is also known for her work in visual arts, architecture, sculpture, and conceptual art installations. In many of her conceptual art installations, Lin mimics natural forms through post-modern and meticulous execution.
Conceptual Art or conceptualism is a form of contemporary art (art installation) which allows the artistic concept or idea to take precedence over the artistic (visual/material) components of the work. Lin’s interest in conceptual or topographic landscapes, in an installation art setting, has deepen throughout the past 20 years.
Lin is an environmental activist and one of her goals, whether with her land art or her conceptual work, is to raise environmental awareness. She consciously uses recycled and sustainable materials in her artistic work.
Olafur Eliasson, Icelandic/Danish installation artist, has moved conceptual art to a massive scale. His public works installation, New York City Waterfalls (2008), featured four man-made waterfalls placed along the East River in New York. Eliasson is a visual artist, sculptor, and large-scale installation artist. His work frequently references natural elemental themes of light, water, and spatial dimension.
Among his many work, large scale and small scale, Eliasson is best known for his Green River project (1998-2001) in which he would dye rivers with non-toxic powder; usually without advance notice to local authorities. Moreover, he is famous for his The Weather Project installation (2003) at the Tate Museum in London. In this latter work, Eliasson uses humidifiers for atmospheric effect and hundreds of monochromatic, yellow light, to stimulate the experience of the viewer standing before a massive sun.