Art is within Nature: The Intuitive Perspective
As the wind blows against a leaf, the leaf moves.
As the rain splashes down onto the soil, the soil gets wet.
And as a flower blooms, a bee has a space to pollenate.
Art is a space which sometimes feels inaccessible. There can be such grand examples of renaissance paintings by old masters that leave audiences feeling in awe, and isolation (the feeling of never being able to achieve such skill and therefore not attempting to try). The theme of isolation is quite familiar to the now, as the corona virus has caused April 2020 to start in stagnation, and continue into the month of May. But perhaps this isn’t a time for complete inactivity and instead, we can find a positive out of slowing down.
Sometimes it is through stopping, pausing and taking a moment where the real beauty around us can be found. By venturing out into nature - (“within the daily allowance… which has now been extended”) - this is the perfect environment to consider, contemplate and reflect. What has led us to this global pause? Is it really the fact that humans were ‘eating bats’ in Wuhan? Or is there a deeper message, beyond the surface of fake news, real news or news in general? Watching the news personally, needs to be taken in light doses, unless of course you want your mind to become numb and a vacuum to a pre-constructed and manipulated thought.
However in nature, everything is open to perception and a new set of truths. You can find that moment of pure quietness, in the midst of distant voices of other families or people passing by. It is in those moments of looking at the trees, the bees, the way the wind blows, the rain, the water, the bark, the grass, a lark (if you’re lucky to see one), that the real news is evident. We are living in a planet where art surrounds us. Luckily if you live close to a big city, this would atypically be in the comfort of a gallery space. But the nearest form of art that we can all access, all around the planet, is nature. So why not imagine nature as a gallery space where art can manifest and be displayed.
Nature is art. If you reconstruct the letters of nature, you can make the word ‘art’ out of them, so they must be bound – right? But when thinking logically about what links the two, it is the expressions that coexist in both spaces. In Michael Field and Martin Golubitsky’s book, Pattern in Mathematics, Art and Nature (2009) they state that: ‘symmetry suggests order and regularity, whilst chaos suggests disorder and randomness’ (p.5). In both art and nature symmetry is apparent, along with chaos. In nature a space is created organically representing this. While in art we witness the physical performance of an artist engaging with a medium to create this same gesture.
On 10th February 2020 I did a performance inspired by the theme of isolation, to a live audience at Copeland Gallery in Peckham. This involved me listening to music via headphones, that nobody else could hear. Subsequently I transferred the sounds into automatic marks that appeared on a 3m x 5m canvas. The expressionistic ink mark-making created an image of gestural, expansive and impulsive lines that collided into each other fusing yellow, pink, blue, red and green hues together to form an image. The performance lasted for 60 mins, until all of the ink had ran out. It was at that point where the artist began to dance to the music playing in her ears. I let go. I wanted to feel connected to the inks and rebel against the live audience around me through disregarding their presence. But why would I disengage if the act is live?
To be live is to remain alive and to evoke a sense of physical presence. The presence in this act was internal and a self-induced expression. Perhaps a message to take away from this performance is that we are all living in isolation, until we choose to expose elements of ourselves to others. This exposure ultimately becomes a conscious performance of our physical self. Considering this within the theme of nature, in natural environments are we still performing? Or do we find ourselves free and physically at one with our surroundings? Perhaps the space of nature is so liberating that it frees us from the expectations of performing a sense of liveliness to others. Instead we exist purely in its accessible presence and obtain a form of art through live, deconstructed performances which are individual to each of us. Art within nature is free
as can be,