Nature is a great source of inspiration for me—I study the light and color of the sky, the bark of trees, and the color in plants and grasses. The colors and movements of nature are of great beauty.
Artists who have made works directly influenced by nature include Andy Goldsworthy, who used nature itself to make his works. Olafur Eliasson has simulated a giant sun in a gallery as well as working with giant pieces of ice. Robert Smithson used rocks to create his pivotal Spiral Jetty in the Great Salt Lake. Richard Long has used mud to create some of his paintings
Project: Create a work of art that emulates nature. Look around and use what is immediately available to you; try not to use any art materials. Photograph the work for documentation.
Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty (1970)
Great Salt Lake, Utah
Mud, precipitated salt crystals, rocks, water
Coil: 1,500 ft. (457.2 meters) long and 15 ft. wide (4.57 meters)
Collection of Dia Art Foundation Photograph: Gianfranco Gorgoni© Holt/Smithson Foundation and Dia Art Foundation/licensed by VAGA at ARS, New York
Built at the mouth of a terminal basin rich in minerals and nearly devoid of life, Spiral Jetty is a testament to Smithson’s fascination with entropy. Its precarious location lends itself to the structure’s inevitable disintegration, yet its impressive size and deliberate shape command the surrounding landscape. Constructed from 6,650 tons of rock and earth, the spiral continuously changes form as nature, industry, and time take effect.