What is environmental heritage?

Hey YouthCAN!

Here are some thoughts for you all as you spend your Summer Studio time thinking about earthworks and environmental heritage.  Perhaps they will help you come up with your own ideas about environmental heritage and inspire some of your art-making!  Look out at the bottom – I posted the images from my presentation if you want to look at them on your own.

  • The land is kind of like the ultimate keeper of history – it has been a witness to change as well as had change made to it by both people and natural forces.
  • When people move to different geographic locations they create new histories, homelands, and heritages for themselves on those lands. Specific areas or locations become places where people create their identities and shape their own stories.  That’s what ENVIRONMENTAL HERITAGE refers to – people’s connection to the land and how their own cultural heritage is tied to the geography they inhabit.
  • The land also provides natural resources needed for survival – people need to plant crops, farm and collect water in order to keep on living!
  • Many artists create work involving the land to analyze and critique human activity on our earth and how we are destroying, using up, or mistreating the land that we live on.  Artists like these often want to move beyond just creating art that has a visual effect or purpose, and pursue projects that create social change and stir other people’s consciousness about how we treat our earth.
  • Some artists physically manipulate the land and other natural objects and materials to create work that highlights the possibilities and wonders of the natural world.  For example, some artists create work that is meant to be outside and left open to the elements so that it changes over time, and some artists build new structures within untouched spaces to challenge the ways we generally think about nature.

APA Earthworks Artists

Here’s my presentation if you want to check it out!

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