Three lengths of wood on a rock – land art

contemporary land art in cornwall uk

Land art, Cornwall, UK

Wood battens, acrylic paint. Length: 2m (variable). June 2018.

This piece of contemporary sculpture or land art was created on the granite rocks on the top of Zennor Hill in Cornwall, near where I live. It’s composed of three lengths of 2×2 inch wood batten of the type used in construction and joinery, painted with acrylic paint.

contemporary land art in Cornwall, UK

Dog Walk: art installation composed of dog poo bags

Dog Walk: dog poo bags

Plastic bags arranged on path. Unspecified contents. Video. Cornwall. June 2018

A video of an environmental art installation in the countryside that comments on the behaviour of some dog walkers.
The work features an avenue of discarded dog pooh bags.
The work was inspired by the experience of going on many walks in the countryside and coming across discarded black plastic dog poo bags: sometimes hidden, sometimes in full view. There’s a theory that the dog owners leave them there to be picked up on their return, however, many of them don’t do it.
The work was created near St Ives, Cornwall.

Update, 2021. This work has taken on more relevance since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, as more people purchase more dogs, which in turn produce more excrement. The fact that some of the new dog owners are quite casual about their ownership responsibilities is reflected in a marked increase of discarded dog poo bags.

Contemporary art dog poo installation

The image above shows a related dog poo installation in an art gallery (visualisation).

Fin – art in the environment, Cornwall

contemporary art - sculpture in the environment, St Ives, Cornwall

Fin: art in the environment

Photograph with digital drawing, September 2018

A photograph of a natural granite rock formation with a drawing of a fin-like object added to the photograph as though it is attached to the rock.
The rock formation in the photograph is on the Penwith peninsula in west Cornwall, a few miles from St Ives. The large rock on which the fin is  drawn is a rocking stone, known locally as a Logan stone. The stone is said to move slightly when pushed correctly.
The image is a finished artwork, despite the fact that it resembles a concept study for a sculpture in the landscape. The drawing of the fin is deliberately  inconsistent in terms  of photographic realism with the rest of the image.
Having said that, I’m not ruling out the possibility of an actual sculpture.

Hammers – photomontage for sculpture in the environment, Cornwall

Contemporary sculpture  in the landscape Cornwall - hammers

Hammers: sculpture in the landscape

Photomontage visualisation, Cornwall. June 2018

A visualisation of a concept for a sculpture in the landscape.
The landscape in the photograph is the Penwith peninsula in west Cornwall.
The hammers are meant to project a sense of overbearing force, the fact that there are several of them possibly implying organised force (such as military force). Hammers, to me, have a certain anthropomorphic quality to them, suggesting a degree of human identity – a long thin body with a head at the top. The blank facelessness of the heads of the hammers in this image suggest a mindless power (I’ve done other works in which hammers have faces).

Land art, UK. Cornwall

contemporary land art Cornwall

Land art on a granite outcrop, Cornwall

Wood, acrylic. Zennor Hill, Cornwall, UK. June 2018

One of my temporary sculptural works or interventions in the landscape near St Ives, Cornwall.

There’s a tendency for land art to be either very ephemeral and transient (such as Andy Goldsworthy’s work with leaves) or very permanent (such as Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty). The photo below shows my work becoming very ephemeral indeed by floating up off the ground as if defying gravity. The photo was achieved by taking several photos of the wooden batons being held in the air and then photoshopping the holder of the batons out of the picture.

Land art also has a tendency to involve circles, probably because of the circle’s links to some spiritual concepts (such as the circle of life, yin and yang, the cosmos etc). Spirals and other sinuous or organic forms are also common for similar reasons. I’ve chosen to go the other way with this work, employing very mechanical straight lines (as a comment on the common phrase “There are no straight lines in nature”) and primary colours that in nature are normally only seen in small concentrated quantities in such places as flowers and birds’ feathers.

land art in the environment - abstract sculpture Cornwall

Art in the environment, Cornwall

art in the environment - abstract sculpture Cornwall


Wood and acrylic paint. Land art on Zennor Hill, near St Ives, Cornwall. 25th June 2018

Land art sculpture composed of lengths of painted wood battens (the type of wood commonly used in building construction).
The sculpture was created by positioning a small number of battens in the landscape, photographing them, repositioning them, rephotographing them and then merging the photographs.
As a result the work has an interesting relationship with time. The sculpture never existed in its entirety as depicted in the photograph, each batten only being in position for long enough to take a photograph. The sculpture only takes on its final form when the twenty-five minutes that it took to position and photograph the battens are compressed into a single instant.

A work of transient land art near St Ives,Cornwall: an intervention in the landscape, or art in the environment. The wood battens are about a metre long.