Random notes on art and nature



Nature is a subject for artists and poets, but once their work is ready, the whole business of talking and writing about these man-made creations takes over. Is it true that such representations, once created, take on a life of their own and far exceed – in terms of the attention we give them – their sources?

Consider the attention we give to still life paintings. We go to museums to experience and admire such works, write and talk about them, but how often do we contemplate the fruit bowl on the table, the light falling on it, the effect of those shapes next to each other?

Some years back on a trip to New York I visited a Van Gogh exhibition at the MoMA. The galleries resembled a supermarket during Christmas sale, and as people elbowed each other to get a view of The Starry Night, I wondered how many of them had looked at the heavens even once in the last month.

5 thoughts on “Random notes on art and nature

  1. “why do we spend so much time and energy in the discourse of art – representations of nature through paintings, sculpture, photography – and so little on the beauty of nature itself?” Exactly!

  2. I don’t know. I’ve been asking some of these questions for a long time, but don’t feel any closer to resolving them. I haven’t even resolved the question of whether to lose the moment in favor of preserving it in photo or video, or leave the cameras at home sometimes and risk missing an opportunity to share something great with blog readers — and thereby, maybe, increase appreciation for the natural world just a little. One of my recent videopoems, “The Aftermath,” kind of dealt with that question.

  3. Nature couldn’t have found a better evangelist than you, Dave. What gives your work more power is that you do it out of love, and not some sort of duty or mission. So in your case it is perhaps better that this photography/video question remains unresolved!

  4. Yes! Yes! Yes!….Thanks Parmanu for putting it across so well…the same thing which i have been trying to tell others so unsuccessfully. I think people have moved so far away from nature now that its difficult to get them back. Here i have stopped telling people my experiences with nature coz i fear that if more people go….they will end up destroying whatever little is left of it.

    1. >> fear that if more people go….they will end up destroying whatever little is left of it.

      That is the worst-case scenario. Perhaps there is a more hopeful alternative?

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