What Is Earth Art?

What is Earth Art?

There are three videos to choose from to learn about earth art.

The first one is better for younger kids, the second two will appeal to older kids. Feel free to watch one, or all three!

You may see a number of other videos that are a deeper dive into things you might be interested in. Feel free to watch as many of those as you like. Then choose some activities and/or a project. 

High school students or any student who wants to dig deeper, continue your study with the advanced learning project in the Projects section.

Take A Deeper Dive!

Earth artist Andy Goldsworthy explains more about his process and the motivations behind creating earth art.

Richard Shilling is a British Earth Artist who aims to create artwork that cannot be owned.

Youtuber “A Girl in Sahyadri” shares her process of creating pigments from natural resources.

Earth artist Ana Castilho creates natural mandalas as a way to connect to our natural world.

Activities

Create an Earth Mandala

A mandala is a circular structure with a design which radiates outwards symmetrically. In Hindu and Buddhist cultures, mandalas hold a great deal of symbolism, each part of the mandala representing different aspects of the universe. Creation of mandalas is used as a route to meditation. To read more about mandalas in Art History, click here

To create a nature mandala, you will need:

  • A suitable space to create your artwork
  • A selection of natural materials

Watch this video for inspiration:

 

Remember to take photos of your creation and upload them to your portfolio.

Create a Balancing Sculpture

Be inspired by artists such as Andy Goldsworthy, James Brunt and Pontus Jansson, and create a balancing land art sculpture.

You will need:

  • A collection of natural materials
  • Patience!

Watch the videos for inspiration:

It is important when making earth art that we respect the natural environment and are aware of the impact our presence has. Please ask an adult before moving natural materials, particularly larger rocks, which may be important parts of microhabitats.

Remember to take photos of your work and include them in your portfolio.

Design an Identity Silhouette

Ana Mendieta was a Cuban earth artist whose artwork led to a movement called Earth Body Art. Her artwork often focused on ideas around identity and belonging. 

Watch this video to learn how to create an identity silhouette.

You will need:

  • Pencil and eraser
  • Marker pens and/or coloured pencils
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Paper

Write a paragraph to explain your finished piece of art and how it relates to your identity.

Remember to include your writing and a copy of your finished artwork in your portfolio.

Project

Create a Presentation About an Earth Artist

Beverly Buchanan, Nancy Holt and Maya Lin are three women renowned for their land art creations. Explore their contribution to environmental artwork. What do you like about their work?

Using PowerPoint or a similar program, create a presentation about your favourite earth artist. This could be one of the artists above, another artist from this block, or someone else you have discovered.

Think through the  5Ws (who, what, where, why, when) when deciding what information to include. 

Make sure that there is at least one slide addressing each of:

  • Who the artist is and where they come from
  • Their style of earth art
  • Their major artworks (both in situ and ex situ)
  • Any influences they may have

Include your presentation in your portfolio. Write a description and then provide a link.

Advanced Project

Write an Essay on Earth Art History

Earth art, land art, earthworks – whichever name you choose, the development of this process was, in many ways, revolutionary. Artists moved away from traditional painting and sculpture, and were drawn to the ecological concerns of the 1960s and human impact on the environment.

Use the videos in this block, the resources below, and any books on the subject to help you write an essay on the history of earth art.

Download and print this outline tool, from http://modelteaching.com/, to help you organize your essay. 

Do the research and fill in the notes of what you want to include in your outline. Then, write the essay. Be sure to use a tool like Grammarly to help improve and edit your writing.

Useful resources:

Upload your essay to your portfolio.

Books

Read Aloud Book(s)