Art is nature: Land Art parks in Europe

An art made of wood, stone, wind, sun and rain: it is called Land Art and was born in the late 1960s in the United States as a protest movement against the growing consumerism of the time. An art that focuses on the environment rather than man, borrowing its natural elements and giving life to works that are often destined to dissolve with it, as they are exposed to the elements and the action of time. The message conveyed is that of sustainability, of the encounter with nature and of the secondary role of man with respect to the environment that surrounds him: a teaching that, today more than ever, remains valid. Here are the parks where you can admire this form of art around Europe.

Born in 1986 by the hand of a group of friends intent on imagining a partnership between contemporary art and nature, Arte Sella has been bringing together for thirty years important artists convinced of the artistic potential of nature, from Nils-Udo to Chris Drury, Patrick Dougherty and Michelangelo Pistoletto, to name a few. The numerous works proposed are discovered in three itineraries: ArteNatura, the area of ​​Malga Costa and Villa Strobele. The most significant, however, is the Plant Cathedral of Giuliano Mauri, which since 2001 has been housed in Malga Costa: an imposing work of the size of a true Gothic cathedral, with naves, columns and heights, on an area of ​​1220 square meters. The twigs with which it is built will be supported by the columns for twenty years until, once they become trees, they will supplant them,

It is a museum designed by the Belgian artist Anne Demijttenaere and Costantino Morosin, together with eleven other artists, inside the Bosco di Calcata, in the province of Viterbo. Here the works have the characteristic of having been all made with native elements and are immersed in a varied landscape, made up of valleys, caves, clearings and springs, with which they merge with the passage of time.

wood work

Land Art Museum, Wånas, Sweden

Along the paths of the centuries-old forest of Wånas Konst we meet the Pyramid of Gunilla Bandolin, now covered with grass; Hannelie Coetzee’s 3D Boar; Melissa Martin’s wooden Dining Room among the larch trees. And then, out of nowhere, Marianne Lindberg De Geer’s invocation to the mother rises from the oaks (“someone” really says “mamma” in Italian. Nature?).

Active since 1987, the Land Art Museum in Wanås is an important center of contemporary art, aimed at both experts and beginners, thanks to a series of educational programs. Furthermore, the commitment to sustainability has meant that for several years the association has been active in the area for the development and maintenance of rural areas, at the service of the local community. The area also includes a beautiful castle and one of the largest organic milk productions in northern Europe.

For twenty years now, the CAIRN (Museum Gassendi and Art Center) has been operating on a gigantic area of ​​200 thousand hectares within the Haute Provence nature reserve. The works installed, scattered over the entire surface, are linked to the environment that hosts them, inviting visitors to rediscover their natural dimension along the way. The whole area, in fact, can only be explored on foot and to reach each sculpture you have to travel several kilometers. On the other hand, it was Pierre Gassendi, abbot and scientist, who lived in these areas in the 17th century, who replied to the maxim of the philosopher Descartes with a new quote: “I walk, therefore I am”.

The Springhornhof Foundation is the organization in Germany that is responsible for promoting one of the largest outdoor art projects in Europe. Based in Neuenkirchen, in the north of the country, it supports artists’ encounter with nature and rural life through a dense agenda, including exhibitions, projects and events, both within its buildings and in the surrounding countryside, where it is located. also a park for the so-called “undesirable” sculptures.