Last Wednesday, when a fellow teacher (Hey Libby!) and I unexpectedly found ourselves with some extra time on our hands, we decided to mix two very awesome things: art and nature. If you’re at all familiar with the work of Andrew Goldsworthy, you know what I’m talking about. Goldsworthy’s art is all about embracing and appreciating the natural world. It’s about working with found tools and creating beauty from the every day discoveries that can be made on earth. It’s about seeing the beauty in the world around you rather than taking it for granted.
Before we sent our students out into the world to make their own nature art, I showed them some pictures of Andrew Goldsworthy’s fantastic pieces. Take a look and be inspired:
We also talked about transience, which was a pretty big word to use, but became clearer to them as we talked and gave examples. We likened it to building a sand castle at the beach. You can’t expect the sand castle to be there the next day because the tide might come in and wash it away or another child may come and add to the castle or knock it down to build an entirely new one. It was actually relevant to some of the conflict happening on the school yard. We made sure to tell the students we’d be taking pictures, but since they’d be creating their own Nature Art in shared space (the play area), we emphasized that it would only temporarily be on display.
After that, we sent them out onto the campus to collect materials and construct their art. I think the students did a pretty phenomenal job, but I’ll let you judge for yourself: