Land art came about as a movement in the late 60’s as a way for artists to protest the convention of art galleries and to express their frustration with the political and social upset of the time. As the work was not confined to an inside space they were often large scale projects, installed and interlinked within there surroundings, rather then just adding a sculpture or other artwork into a contrasting environment. Land art promotes using organic matter that coincides with the existing landscape and encourages the disuse of plastics and other man made materials normally used in art that can be harmful to the environment. Rather then work that could be bought and sold it was a new take on a once very commercial industry, challenging the way people viewed art. Land art is a way of using natural resources to enrich a space. Prominent artists from this movement include Nancy Holt, Richard Long, Robert Smithson and Christian Jean – Claude.
This is a piece by Nancy Holt called sun tunnels. The image below is not the most visually stunning of the land art pieces I have come across but the thought and intricacy that has gone into it is what caught my attention. Each tunnel has carefully drilled holes matching specific constellations as well as the tunnels being aligned with the sunrise an sunset of the summer and winter solstice. Although these tunnels stand out from their surroundings they are simultaneously working with the environment.
Robert Smithsons Spiral Jetty was created in 1970 but despite it’s age and the fact it is sometimes submerged in water and sometimes exposed it is still intact and there for people to see. A spiral is a simple shape, one that I like many people I’m sure will use when doodling, but in this setting is a far more impressive image which works well alongside the similarly curvy landscape and the contrast of the stillness of the sea.