Land Art – creative environmentalism

The work of artists such as Richard Long, Andy Goldsworthy, Robert Smithson and Christo have all become associated with a relatively new movement in modern art that reacts to, and works with nature and the outdoors which has become known as Land Art.

Richard Long is perhaps one of the earliest of this group of artists – his works are often fleeting as they often involve him walking and then leaving the imprints of his feet on the ground – a comment perhaps on the impact of humanity on nature. The same can be said of Christo’s islands surrounded by sheets of plastic in the port of Sydney – these smack of the oil slicks and marine pollution of our current era.

Andy Goldsmith and Robert Smithson’s works use the materials that one can find in nature – stones, ice, coloured leaves. This work instead comments on the beauty of nature in an increasingly urbanised, environmentally dislocated world.

This style of work, due to its temporary nature is often documented in photography – a sort of commemoration of works that can never be truly permanent – wind, water and time also play their part and this is equally a part of the process.

In an increasingly consumerist world, Land Art comments on human nature and our relationship with the environment and the world around us – a serious issue for past, present and future generations.



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