Art and Nature – One and the Same?
Yesterday, I had the chance to visit 100 Acres, the art and nature park at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, with my friend Liz. Besides the fact that it was a beautiful and mild November day, the park, which incorporates large-scale art pieces throughout the natural setting, made me wonder about the differences between nature and art.
Is nature art? Is art nature? Or do they complement one another?
The Art Museum’s website says,
“the park is designed to strengthen the public’s understanding of the unique, reciprocal relationships between contemporary art and the natural world.”
Reciprocal implies to me that the two correspond, complement each other, or are in relationship, but are not the same.
From what I have read about Alexander Pope, the 18th century poet, he thoughtfully explored this relationship between nature and art. For him, nature was art, and all artists seek to express the underlying harmony and form found already in nature. I can honestly say that this is what I found at the art and nature park yesterday, with its 8 site-specific installations.
As we entered the park by crossing a bright red bridge, I was struck by the red berries next to the bridge. The bridge and the berries seemed drawn to one another, and the soothing blue water underneath showed them both off.
One of the installations,
Funky Bones by artist Atelier van Lieshout, consists of 20 fiberglass benches, which altogether form a human skeleton. Besides representing the human body, one of the greatest works of art, it also reminds us of an archaeological dig and that our bodies eventually become part of the earth once more. It is a great place to pause and reflect.
Bench Around the Lake by Jeppe Hein, consists of yellow benches scattered throughout the park, in unusual shapes and sizes. They look as if they are emerging from the ground and into the ground and are connected to all of the other benches through an underground system. Here, the yellow bench seems connected to the big rock as well.
To me, nature is art and my photographic art is definitely inspired by nature. Not only is each individual element of nature perfect as it is, the underlying harmony which connects everything is also perfect and soothes my soul. Thanks, Liz, for sharing it with me.
What do you think?