Land as Art

this is a blog for spring 2012 HRNS268 with Dr. Hamilton

Sweet Briar women are even fashionable while digging in the soft red clay! 
Model: Jacquie Oliver 

Maddie’s talented photography! 


Sweet Briar women are even fashionable while digging in the soft red clay! 

Model: Jacquie Oliver 

Maddie’s talented photography! 


we did it! the extended rock spiral and the dirt spiral! what a great semester this was!! 

the weather has not been to kind to us but we keep trying to pull thru to complete this spiral before the end of classes next Tuesday! 

PART 3 of final blog assignment

Framing the View—Chapter 5

Landscape and Western Art— Malcolm Andrews  

            Landscape pictured is the image of nature that can decorate our walls in the comfort of our homes. Living in cities with no outdoor views, people have adapted to bringing the essence of wild nature in “artificial views.” Hanging canvas paintings of Mt. Vesuvius creates an intense state of awareness between outside and inside.

            Open windows bless people with views of gardens, orchards, or rolling fields of flowers. Many talented artists can capture this beauty with paints or photographs but how do they “frame” the fresh air or abundant rays of sunlight? Framing views of the natural world pushes into one’s psychological impressions when interior materials mediate landscape, like a dining room wall. Our sense of indoor and outdoor is stimulated with an interior’s presence because it causes us to try to analyze our relationship with landscape.

            A Pergola by Christoffer Eckerberg frames a view of walled, lush garden by placing the viewer dead center in the garden forcing their gaze to the opening in the garden that stares off into the distance of mountains. Eckerberg’s painting seems to purposely confuse outside-inside duality. I feel like he wants to challenge his viewers in questioning their relationship of landscape by merging sunlight, vines, and terracotta architecture into one peaceful blend of nature and domestic life. The goal of Romantic European artist was to authenticate landscape to create a realistic experience for any viewer.


            Another example of framing the view was a photograph by Anon, Rydal Falls from the Summerhouse. This tiny, stone cottage was built in the 17th century with a design for framing the view strategy. The adorable summerhouse was designed with the outdoor-indoor duality inspiration. When the viewer approaches Rydal Falls and the cottage, the sounds of nature grow and sensation of the cool forest among the echoing rush of the waterfall causes one to become aware of the natural elements. In the stone house, there is a large window that perfectly captures and frames a living landscape view of the falls with trees and the old Stonebridge in the distance. The designers created a contrast with the dark interior of the cottage and the bright, wild window view of the outdoors. The purpose of the dramatic contrast is to keep the viewer’s perception of outdoors versus indoors alive.


Nature tries to construct itself in a fashion that ensures the value and beauty of any landscape. In framing the view, landscape is described in the most realistic way by being painted in a window analogy. The distinction from one’s familiar, domestic interior and the raw exterior of the natural world is aroused when one is placed in front of a photograph or painting that contrasts the duality of indoor and outdoor. 

PART 2 of final blog assignment

Landscape as Amenity Chapter 3

Landscape and Western Art- Malcolm Andrews 




Locus amoenus

Pleasant place

            Alberti and Fernow believed in the power of natural scenery in the battle against illness, stress, development, and tension. The freedom from everyday burdens of being a student, businessperson, or a mother of four can be found in the refugee of landscape.

            Landscapes have various presentations; some are small, quiet gardens or massive landscapes with grand trees and other plants. The idea of Nature and Art are found in the heart of landscaping. One view of Nature & Art is that it’s a form of perfection or the “Art of God.” The second view claims nature to be uncontrollable, wild and raw.

            In this chapter of Landscape as Amenity, Alberti, Fernow, and other experts suggests that people began buliding country villas to be closer to the beauty of pure nature, in order to feel that satisfaction one receives after being cleansed of pollution, noise, and toxins. The movement of country homes and seclusion really caught on when city life became so intense and heavy.

            Alberti painted and pictured landscapes by framing them, allowing people who could not afford the grand Italian villa home to be able to see the wonders of God created art.

            Villa designs are an intermix of indoors and outdoor. Most villas have outdoor living areas, dining tables, and even bathrooms. The motivation for this design was to bring landscape into the home. The walls, inside the villa, have huge panel paintings of nature scenes that are free-formed panoramas. The continuation of outdoors into indoors was to create an illusion that nature surrounds you at all times. Building a villa is an agreement between domestic art and wild nature to harmonize into one epic, peaceful place of meditation. 

some Italian villas….wish one was mine :) 


Holton Rower, “Aftertaste of the Breaking Into”, 2011, acrylic paint on plywood © Holton Rower, courtesy The Pace Gallery
Congratulations to Holton Rower for his upcoming solo show at The Hole!  We loved having him participate in our group exhibit Soft Machines last summer!


Holton Rower, “Aftertaste of the Breaking Into”, 2011, acrylic paint on plywood © Holton Rower, courtesy The Pace Gallery

Congratulations to Holton Rower for his upcoming solo show at The Hole!  We loved having him participate in our group exhibit Soft Machines last summer!

part 1 of final blog assignment

Landscape into Land/Land into Landscape: (1&9) 

Landscape and Western Art—Malcolm Andrews 

            The question of “What is original?” from both chapters 1 & 9 kept repeatedly flashing before my eyes, as I tried to keep reading the problems that emerged from Earth Art or Land Art. It’s a controversial topic in the art world. How do we really know the distinction from art to nature? According to Malcolm Andrews, landscape does not happen in nature but what is to be found in nature is what everyone should expect: natural world and organic materials.

            Natural, organic materials are rocks, trees, dirt, and plants. That’s original for sure because it’s straight from Mother Earth, herself. Yet, the problems arise when these elements are taken from their original spot and placed in a gallery. The Earth holds the most potential in being turned into landscape art because it is clearly the most organic and overall original.

            Landscape Art is claimed to be a form of gardening. Artist that are intrigued by the natural, organic richness of the Earth use “marked sites” as evidence that they were working with the land in order to create landscape. Photographs, videos, or writings collect the evidence of marked sites.

            Robert Smithson was the pioneer in Earth Art, in my opinion. His Spiral Jetty caused a revolution among the art world. Critics opposed the idea of moving from the studio/indoors to the wide-open spaces of the outdoors. He broke the barrier in the involving the artistic mind with the raw, natural world. Smithson refers to outdoors as “sites” and indoors as “nonsites.” This notion of indoor against outdoors, defined landscape art in more detail, by stating that there is no need for non-sites or galleries. And that the world is a large canvas, with the materials, inspiration, and gallery location already nicely packaged for an artist.            

            The Spiral Jetty responded to landscape. Smithson states that landscape is a “direct organic manipulation of the land.” I really like this idea of manipulation. It makes sense, in the whole argument of chapter 1 & 9, because what we have been doing for the past 13 weeks is manipulation of the land. Our spiral, inspired by Smithson, started with us finding our “site” and then using the natural materials to create our own landscape.

            I personally do not believe that landscape is a negative approach to how we create art from land but rather a useful, productive activity. It invites people to become one with nature and enjoy the beauty of pure, organic materials. It serves as a clean slate that has added inspiration. Anyone and everyone hold the freedom to enjoy, create, and share the calming, meditative essence that comes from the glory of Earth Art. Having watched, read, and experienced creating Earth Art, I have grown a huge appreciation towards the idea of using the God-made land for the benefit and well-being of those that live among the same organic elements. 

sweet briar architecture

i stumbled across this awesome countdown of awesome college architecture! number 20 is the Pannell Center!! this reminded me of one of our very first classes, when we stood in the center of the upper quad and discussed the layout of Sweet Briar’s campus!