Art and Forest Bathing
As an eco arts organisation, we believe that art has the power to inspire, heal, and connect us with nature. For many of us, being amongst nature elicits feelings of relaxation and provides us with some distance from the electronic devices that tend to dominate our day-to-day lives. In fact, the Japanese practise of shinrin-yoku (or ‘forest bathing’) emerged in the 1980s in response to the growing impact of technology, representing a desire for purposeful connection with the natural world.
Benefits of Art in Nature
Art in nature is a unique form of artistic expression that brings together creativity and the natural world. Vulnerable to the elements, these ephemeral pieces absorb and reflect the impact of their environment. This grants us the opportunity to explore new ways of seeing and experiencing nature through art. There are many benefits to this type of art, both for those creating and those experiencing it.
For artists, creating art in nature can be a way to:
- Explore new ideas and experiment with different materials and techniques
- Add depth and gravity to the message of their work
- Challenge oneself, working with the natural environment to create something truly unique and beautiful
For those who experience the art, it can be a way to:
- Connect with nature in a deeper and more meaningful way
- Enjoy the scientifically studied potential mental and physical health benefits of forest bathing. These include improved cardiovascular function and enhanced emotional state.
- Remember the beauty and complexity of the natural world and to care for and protect it
Creating a Sense of Community
But the benefits of art in nature go beyond just the artistic and environmental realms. It also has the power to bring people together by creating a sense of community and shared purpose. By creating and experiencing art in nature, we are reminded of our shared responsibility to care for the planet and to work together towards a more sustainable future.
Learn more about one of the community arts initiative undertaken by the Understory Art & Nature Trail here.
Art in Nature – The Understory Art & Nature Trail
Traditional botanical gardens tend to place the focus on the sculpture or statue. Flowers and plants frame and highlight the man-made pieces, rather than the vegetation itself. In contrast, the Understory Art & Nature Trail works with local, regional, national and international artists to create installations and sculptures that highlight the natural beauty of our region. By making nature the star and the art a way of framing it, visitors are encouraged to explore and appreciate the organic environment around them.
Art in nature is a powerful way to connect with the natural world and to inspire a sense of responsibility towards the environment. By creating and experiencing art in nature, we can explore new ideas, challenge ourselves, and be reminded of the beauty and complexity of the world around us. At our art in nature trail, we hope to inspire visitors to connect with nature and to work towards a more sustainable future.
Interested in visiting the trail?