Some art comes to us, and some art is created by us through nature’s whispers.
Jon Foreman discovered land art while in college and immediately fell in love with it. He felt that the natural world had more in it to be explored, particularly where he lives, Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Since the area has an extensive coastline, a huge part of Foreman’s work revolves around the stones he finds near the sea. Using everything from tiny pebbles to big rocks, the artist surprises beach-goers with mesmerizing arrangements that never cease to amaze.
“I create using many natural materials but stone has proven to be the material which I can manipulate best. Be it color, angle, shape, size, placement, spacing,” Foreman told Bored Panda. “Typically, I either start with a rough idea of what I’d like to do or no idea whatsoever! Then I collect what I can carry and start by placing stone by stone, steadily losing myself in the process and disconnecting from the stress of everyday life.”
Foreman said land art presents more to him as an artist than, say, drawing or painting. “There are endless possibilities. Not only that but there are endless environments to work in, each and every one different to the next. Getting out and creating work has a profound effect on my mental health. It keeps my mind healthy and content.”
Foreman really took his work to the next level in 2018 when he participated in the Llano Earth Art Fest. “There, I met around 30 artists whom I have known online for years but never met in person. This festival is responsible for so much development in the field and I am extremely grateful for it. Partly due to this festival, land art has developed a really tight and positive community in the last few years.”
However, their community has been targeted by news articles which, as far as Foreman can tell, have been nothing more than opinions. In fact, he knows one of them from The Guardian which even stated at the top of the text that it was an opinion. “Many people read it then took it to be fact. These articles claim that what we create is damaging to the environment and creatures that may be living there. I absolutely oppose this as we are creating work with nature and if anything, we do it to show that it needs protecting.”
“Just as an example, these stone creations are made only a few feet away from where I collected them. The tide then comes and washes them back to where they came from. How is that damaging?” the artist asked. “Any creatures that live in this environment (I almost never come across any) will be used to such turbulent conditions and me moving rocks will make no difference at all. The creatures that do live in these conditions will not be settling down to make homes. They are constantly moving like the tide does.”
“Take a step away from the outdoors. Look at the materials around you. Where have they come from? The batteries that are in our phones/laptops are made from materials that have been mined from the ground. The cars we drive, the paper we use, the art supplies I would otherwise be using if I wasn’t using materials outdoors. All this is more damaging to the environment than anything I do.”
“In every walk in with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” -John Muir
“Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things.” -Lao Tzu
“We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” -Native American proverb
“Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Nature, time and patience are the three great physicians.” -Chinese proverb
“The most beautiful gift of nature is that it gives one pleasure to look around and try to comprehend what we see.” -Albert Einstein