hidden europe 36

Ephemeral art

by hidden europe

Picture above: Rome being reclaimed by the elements on the west coast of Jutland, Denmark (photo © hidden europe).


There is a remarkable vividness about pieces of art whose days are numbered. Artists like Richard Shilling and Andy Goldsworthy have been keen advocats of what is sometimes called land art. We search for the remnants of last year's sand sculpture festival in the coastal community of Søndervig.

We have a friend who each winter, as snow falls gently over the meadows of Brandenburg, heads out into the countryside for, as she nicely puts it, “a day of art.” Her art is simple: tracks made in the snow in carefully interconnected patterns. She moves as the mood takes her, but each perfectly executed spiral is linked by a delicate ribbon of footsteps to the next such spiral. Those who pass near might wonder at a woman seemingly walking in circles in a snowy field, and few ever appreciate her intent. It is only those in low-flying planes who could see the patterns inscribed on the Brandenburg landscape, and within a few days they have usually disappeared, either being obscured by new snow or fading to nothing in a thaw.

This is art at its most private and transient. Most of the intricate patterns thus made are seen by noone.

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