the power of nature in art


the power of nature in art

how compelling out-of-home installations have employed nature in conceptual depiction

border control

Iranian artist siblings Icy and Sot focus their work around symbolism using conceptual installations. Recent projects include creating moving installations depicting the human rights issue of border control. Their work is based on personal experience, as the censorship of their art lead them to flee their hometown of Tabriz in 2012.

The pair has been repressed and even arrested by Iranian authorities due to their use of public street art, sculptures, murals, and installations depicting issues of political and social injustice. After securing an opportunity to have their work featured in New York City, the brothers made the life-changing decision to seek artistic asylum in America, meaning they can never return to their homeland again.

Icy and Sot’s three recent works - ‘An Open Door’, ‘The Fence Between Us’, and ‘The New American Flag’— depict the ambiguity and division of border control rhetoric in America. As refugees who have found a new life of freedom through immigration, the artists use a powerful personal story to inspire these out-of-home designs.

The use of the natural environment in their installations adds an emotional appeal to their work by challenging the notion that immigration is solely a geographical issue. It symbolizes the integration of immigrants into our country such that they are given the opportunity to create their own impression on life, much like Icy and Sot did in America. Read the full article about their installations here.

tiffany blue

The eye-catching contrast Davide D’Elia has achieved by transforming the Ex Elettrofonica gallery into a visual of passing time is not only alluring, but inspiring. His installation, ‘Antivegetatavia,’ derives its name from an Italian anti-fouling paint applied to old ships for preservation.

The concept was executed using nineteen canvases, a buoy, chair, and plenty of tiffany blue fouling paint. It explores the theme of passing time as it relates to decay and residue.

“From the process of immersion of the objects in the paint stems a reflection on a stretch of common history, that of things, and this gives rise to another, much deeper one, on what remains beyond the end of material,” D’Elia describes. “Through the process of the cancellation of natural processes, ‘Antivegetativa’ is an experiment in halting nature’s physicality, as well as the passing of time.”

the color of the sky

The Seattle-based atelier Lead Pencil Studio has created a billboard installation expressing an abstract motif and lack of navigational direction. The concept is focused on representing the antithesis of a billboard. Whereas advertisements often draw attention away from the landscape, ‘Non-Sign II’ uses the sky behind it as a fluid, unrefined visual.

Created by intertwining fine steel rods, the work was created by Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo of Seattle’s Lead Pencil Studio. It was commissioned by the US government for the Canadian/US border to “ennoble public space and promote American artists.” In a security zone where it is hard to appreciate the environment among border control concerns, Non-Sign II forces passerby to take a step back and appreciate the harmony between nature and architecture.

In the inspiration behind this design, Mihalyo speaks to “challenging the certainty of a finite conclusion." The video below shows the installation process of Non-Sign II. Read more about the installation here.