The Element Of Earth: Presenting Mother Earth In All Her (Artistic) Glory!

Earth is the center and foundation of all elements–it is the fountain from where all springs originate and the seed of all things. Commonly associated with heaviness, matter and the terrestrial world, Earth is the realm of wisdom, growth, prosperity and without it, our existence would be next to impossible. The phenomenon of our growth on this planet is truly magical.

Earth is viewed as our mother in many civilisations, be it ‘Prithvi Mata’ in India or ‘Gaia’ in Rome. It is a very justified belief, not only because it shelters and nourishes all creatures that reside on it but also because of one other mystical characteristic it possesses. Earth can take on the qualities of all other elements, whether it is the dry, dusty and hot aspects of Fire and Air, as is found in deserts or the moist and fluid aspects of Water, in swamps and marshlands.

Today, we bring to you aesthetic artworks highlighting and bringing out the beauty that Mother Earth is.


Olafur Elliasson

This one goes out to all the sluggish people (like me), who prefer staying indoors and refuse to step out. Berlin-based artist Olafur Elliasson has brought the outdoors inside by filling Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark with stones and soil. He has created the perfect atmosphere of a ‘Riverbed’, which is also the name of the exhibition. Elliasson wants the viewers to experience the contrasting difference of the exhibition and true nature.

In its monochromatic colour scheme, the interaction and progress of the visitor through the museum, trudging to find a source of the stream becomes a central part of the experience of Riverbed. Each visitor after walking across the unstable surface of this artificial landscape necessarily effects a transformation in it, causes damage of some kind. Eliasson’s exhibition is an enhancement of our gaze at the museum, at ourselves and at the world.


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Image Courtesy: Olafur Eliasson 


We all dream of the perfect house with perfect landscaping and a beautiful garden. However, many a times we have to let the garden go because of lack of space, but not anymore. Cara de Planta, which means plant face in English, is a DIY vertical gardening system that all of us, no matter our age or ability, can use to make professional vertical gardens very easily and in a short period of time. Vertical gardens are just perfect when space is what we lack. Growing on walls, they can be found indoors as well as outdoors.



 Image Courtesy: Cara De Planta 


Katharina Grosse

Katharina Grosse is known for the vibrant palette and exuberant gestures of her large-scale canvases and for yielding a spray gun instead of a brush. She brought colour to a white room at MASS MoCA when she filled soil and dirt from its upper balcony to its floors and sprayed it with bright paint. Disorienting in colour, scale and material, she converted the architectural building to a geological one.

Her installation is not representational but is meant to embrace and raucously question the very space it inhabits by allowing visitors experience it in a transformative way. The colours she has used range from violet to red with varying shades of each hue.





Image Courtesy: Beautiful Decay 


Walter De Maria

Welcome to the Earth Room, permanently installed by Walter De Maria at 141 Wooster Street in New York. It is nothing but 250 cubic yards of black soil filling 3,600 feet. It has creations of various artists using nature’s materials to experiment with and create a profound art experience.

Earth Room is a majestic work that gives us bodily confirmations of the power of scale, material, natural phenomena, and art.


 Olivia Kaufman-Rovira

Olivia Kaufman-Rovira  installed a watering system that grew giant grass chandeliers over a six week period.  The grass chandeliers were interspersed with others made of discarded plastic bottles.  The sculptures were meant to comment on resources needed to keep up lawns, how non-biodegradable materials pollute our environment and how important our water supply is.



Phoebe Washburn

Phoebe Washburn is a New York artist who incorporates organic matter such as sod or plants into her installations, which act as attempts to exert control over the chaotic.


Sean Martindale

Sean Martindale replaced cracked city tree planters in Toronto with grass, making it appear as though it had spilled out over the planter.  A kind of street art, the planters brought beauty and attention to an otherwise damaged part of the city.


Image Courtesy: Beautiful Decay  


Janis Lang

After analyzing soil for 14 years of her life at the NRCS Charles E. Kellogg Soil Survey Laboratory in Lincoln, Nebraska, Janis Lang began to see the beauty hidden in soil. In the lab, she had examined different soils from all over the country and the world, when one day she had an idea to use the soil to paint scenes from expeditions.

The soil samples are put through a very fine sieve and mixed with a clear acrylic to create ‘soil paints’, which she then uses to paint the beautiful scenes on watercolor paper.

The trick with painting landscapes is that it is hard to get the color right. When I paint with soil, the color comes from nature and it is exactly right.




 Image Courtesy: NRCS


So there you have it, artists who found beauty in what is trodden over underfoot. We hope these artists could awaken in you the protector to come out and preserve the mother of all elements, Earth.

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