Get enchanted by these temporar sculptures that play with grand landscape and environmental issues.
Andrea Ellefsen, arkitektstudent ved BAS, nettredaksjonen.
New Zealand based artist Martin Hill in collaboration with Philippa Jones, have worked together since 1995, creating geometric sculptures. Built with organic materials, such as stone, ice and wood, the sculptures can return back to nature when they fade away. By doing this Martin is highlighting sustainability and environmental issues, and his work has become widely published.
We have asked a few questions regarding their work and how they look upon the environmental future:
Do you have a special concept behind your art?
- Philippa and I met through climbing and began to work together on making the sculptures in 1995. I make the photographs. I had been a designer for 30 years and also a climber visiting many wild parts of the world.
- The concept of making ephemeral sculptures in nature came to me in 1992 when I recognised that the world’s dominant model of progress is based on a faulty linear system design that will ensure the collapse of civilisation unless it is transformed to operate cyclically as a regenerative system in line with nature, producing no waste, and running on renewables. Recently these principles have been employed by the Circular Economy.
You call yourself an environmental artist, what does that mean to you?
- The ephemeral sculptures are made in natural locations and constructed by hand using natural materials gathered from the environment, e.g. rocks, sticks, leaves, ice, snow. Making ephemeral sculptures in nature is a metaphor to communicate about the fundamental principles of sustainable design learned from nature. Making ephemeral sculptures and publishing photographs of them internationally is our way to spread a meme about an alternative design philosophy that protects the environment on which we rely. This kind of art is now referred to under the category of Land Art, we use the term environmental art because of our concern for the environment.
Do you have any political stance in your work?
- The issues we address in our art practice are about a change in human practices, for the common good of all people and the earth’s ecological systems that govern life.
- This change requires a different consciousness. Although there is a vast cultural movement towards a regenerative society there is a strong resistance to it by those with a vested interest in the status quo. Opposition to an ecological world view has prevented action on climate change and is advancing ecological destruction that is causing species extinction and collapse of ecosystems.
How do you think the future of art and architecture will respond in relation to nature?
- Artists and designers are usually at the forefront of evolutionary movements. This is because they tend to be generalists with a holistic overview. They are also the makers of cultural artefacts and opinions that lead society in new directions.
- There are examples around the world of many creative responses to the challenge of making a world that works effectively and fairly for all of us and all of life.
- We think art, design and architecture will express the story that transforms the world.
This is our hope.
(c) All Sculpture: Martin Hill in collaboration with Philippa Jones.
(c) Photography: Martin Hill