If you’re the type to stop and smell the roses you probably have some appreciation for the natural world. Unfortunately, in this age of technology, less and less people take time to connect with our natural surroundings, which makes the works we’re featuring here so important. The works of Jeff Koons, Ackroyd and Harvey, Binh Danh and Portia Munson all take plant-life and re-contextualize it; the viewer is faced with something familiar cast in a new light. In the cases of Koons and Ackroyd and Harvey, the scale of their works looms over the viewer to remind them that the nature of all things are continually evolving, even that of human civilization. With Portia Munson’s Garden installations, we literally walk into a new world that is groomed yet overgrown, familiar yet psychedelic. Binh Danh’s plant-based portraits balance the fragile surface of the leaves with the powerful imagery of the victims of the 1970’s Cambodian unrest. Though the works are largely different, one thing binds them together, the power of nature to communicate a feeling and a message without words.
British Artist Andy Goldsworthy is a master of ephemeral work, capturing the beauty of nature and tempering it with the fleeting nature of all organic things. Each one of his works is a collaboration with nature, and with each piece he strives to gain a closer understand of nature through these intimate interactions. Using his hands and “found tools,” Goldsworthy’s work is a celebration of the world outside the buildings that humans spend their lives inside. His photographs capture the sculpture moments after they are complete, afterwards the sculptures live on changing with the wind, rain and elements until it ceases to exist as Goldsworthy shaped it.
Such is the nature of the Woolly Pocket. Woolly Pocket allows the urban dweller to manipulate nature and incorporate plants into formerly inhospitable territory. Woolly Pocket can take over a wall, fence, living room or any structure and make you the sculptor of your surroundings. Our favorite aspect of Woolly Pocket is their Woolly School Gardens project that connect schools looking to start a garden with community members looking to support their efforts. Help kids get their hands dirty by visiting Wolly School Garden and find a school near you to sponsor.
New York-based artist Roxy Paine’s work fuses organic with mechanical, making life-like replicas of natural structures in man-made materials. His stainless steel trees manage to retain the sense of spontaneity that we expect from organic objects, while being completely machine-made and rigidly planned. Paine’s highly detailed reconstructions of natural phenomena explore the tension between the natural and the built. In his piece Crop he carefully reconstructed a small patch of wild poppies and his piece Weed Choked Garden brings a decaying garden to eye level. By bringing reconstructed natural objects into a gallery setting you’re forced to consider things you might have ignored in its usual setting.
Paine’s work reminds us of the importance of the natural world and how it continues to fight for survival amongst the structures and debris of modernity. With Woolly Pocket you can help plants fight back. Woolly Pocket makes urban gardening easy; let nature reclaim a fence, wall or even an indoor structure.
Kids want to help reclaim spaces for nature too! Woolly pocket helps schools grow gardens so that students can learn the basics of gardening and the satisfaction that comes with growing your own food. Their Woolly School Gardens project that connect schools looking to start a garden with community members looking to support their efforts. Visit Woolly School Garden and find a school near you to sponsor.
Korean Artist Lee Kwang-Ho portraits of cacti, succulents and other plants take a deeper look at the living objects around us that we take for granted. Lee’s work recalls that of Georgia O’Keefe’s in the way that their zoomed-in focus creates abstractions and make us look at these objects in a different way. Lee’s ability to capture light and movement while maintaining a soft focus on the subject gives the paintings an ethereal, dream-like quality.