Pure Art

Voorwold Pic

I’m fascinated by how art can affect people and by how every person is different in what moves them and inspires them. I think everyone has been moved by some piece of artwork that spoke to them or caused them to look inside themself. It may have been the colors or the type of medium used, or the subject or subject matter depicted, or the simplicity or the complexity of a piece that drew some usually buried feeling from within us. But there is something about using only what nature gives you in its purest form to create that speaks to me on some basic, internal level.

 Earth Art or Land Art is art in which the landscape and the work of art are inextricably connected. Both the canvas and medium are the earth and nature. While there are more famous contemporary Land Artists, Dietmar Voorwold is my favorite. Here’s a great sampling of his work.

I’ve been moved to emotion by many pieces of art, but what I feel when I see Dietmar Voorwold’s land art creations is pure AWE. Not awe because of the amount of work or time it took to create the piece or some unattainable skill possessed by the artist; but awe in its duplicity. My brain can’t comprehend how something can be so beautiful, simple and pure and yet so complex at the same time.  Dietmar Voorwold’s work is childlike in its simplicity of materials and its canvas but at the same time it can be as complex as a calculus algorithm. He seems to also have the eye for and gift of photography that can capture his Land Art at the perfect moment of light

I can see why Dietmar Voorwold’s work and vision could involve Art Therapy for children.  One spring, I showed my students some video of some Land Art creations and then took them on a walk as Dietmar Voorwold described it “the perfect stage and canvas…” It was amazing to see their eyes light up just by finding a leaf or a rock or a berry because they saw it’s potential. Everything they found in nature, they saw as a gift left just for them to be used for their own creative expression.  The hardest part for me with this “art project” was walking away from their creations. We took pictures and then walked away. There was something sad and freeing at the same time to just walk away. Interestingly, though, the kids didn’t have a hard time walking away. But there was definitely a feeling of reverence for their work in knowing it was ephemeral.

  • When you hear the word ART, what is your first thought?
  • In your opinion does creating artwork that is meant to be ephemeral or temporary lessen its value or beauty?
  • As a child or an adult, did you create works of art from nature?

Here’s a great video of Dietmar Voorwold’s work.

A few other Land Artists that create unbelievably works of Art:

Patrick Dougherty

Andy Goldsworthy

Sherry Eubanks