A little feature of newly discovered ephemeral art that i’m in love with.

As you know i’ve recently picked up the Taking Time: Exploring Ephemeral Practices module at uni, and in my last post i went on about how much i was loving it. Well, here is a lot more love for a lot more artworks and artists i have recently discovered in the field of ephemeral art.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude

This pair create wonderful sculptural forms out of fabrics and pre-existing structures; their work is all about wrapping things, buildings, trees, landscapes, etc. in fabric to alter the shapes of these things (as well as other huge scale installation pieces). They investigate the environments around them and pick out characteristics that are emphasized in their work.”The work of the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude transcends borders, resists categorizing, and embraces contradiction.” The main thing that strikes me when i’m browsing through their website is the documentation of their work. You see it from their first inital sketches, to more in-depth drawings, to construction of pieces and then finally to beautifully photographed final works. The progress in creating their art is in effect their art.

This quote from Jeanne-Claude is beautiful, and not only sums up their own work but the nature of ephemeral artworks: “The fact that the work does not remain creates an urgency to see it.  For instance, if someone were to tell you, “Oh, look on the right, there is a rainbow.”  You will never answer, “I will look at it tomorrow.”

These three images show the stages and progress of the artistic process the pair utilises (the first two are drawings, the third is the piece in action).

The wrapped trees are my favourite. I studied them in school when working on my Discarded project (which i will post about soon, because it was very ephemeral!) and have had a little art crush on their work ever since.

I love that Christo’s studio is wrapped. Something about that makes me smile :)

Jim Denevan

Surfer, chef and renowned beach sand artist, Jim Denevan brings an appreciation for the outdoors and the ephemeral passage of time to his large-scale beach drawings. Jim Denevan makes temporary drawings on sand earth and ice that are eventually erased by waves and weather. Using a simple driftwood stick found on-site, Denevan begins by tracing outward from a central point on the beach. Improvised on the spot and gracefully rendered with his stick and a selection of rakes, his large scale spirals, circles and geometric forms which take up most of the beach. “When I’m doing a drawing, I’m personifying the place that is empty. A place that is unmarked.” These ephemeral sand drawings are performances. They emerge like a dance and become interactive public spaces when he’s done. Surfers walk over and through the elegant patterns he leaves behind. Delighted beachgoers follow the curling spiral work like it’s a labyrinth, pacing inwards and then retracing their steps. The incoming tide participates as well, and always has the last word as it erases the temporary artworks with the sweep of each passing wave. “People always ask how it feels to have them wash away,” adds Denevan, “but who would want it not to wash away?” I love that he is in tune of the ephemerality of his work. I think is work is a little reminiscent of crop-circles… I would love to see these works in real life, just the pictures look mindblowing!

Nele Azevedo – Melting Men

“Melting Men is a series of art installations from the Minimum Monument project created by Brazilian artist Nele Azevedo. Since 2005, Azevedo has been setting up her Melting Men in various countries around the world. Although originally intended as a critic of the role of monuments in cities, environmentalists around the world are adopting her work as climate change art.” In an interview she expresses her happiness that the ideas behind her work are altered and percieved in so many different ways by the viewer. I love this series of work, and to me it does suggest an opinion on climate change and the effects the weather/the world is having on us, and our environments. It is a great example of ephemeral art that has a topical theme.

All these artists are rather installationy! I think that’s what i’m gonna end up doing…. maybe! I’m torn between something like this, something sculptural, something physical that i can create (that is the maker in me) and something that is more performance based, something that features humanity, and something that features the body (sorry mum…. i might end up getting naked for this project!). Hrmmm…. we shall see. It’s early yet. I still have the time to change my mind a million more times. I maybe even have the time to do performancem, nakedness and installation………. i may even combine them all and make SUPER ART!

Who knows?

Chloe out.


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