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A Brief Introduction
by Clive Adams, Director of the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (2002)
From prehistoric times, peoples have transformed the environment, shaping their tools from stone, and, in their cave wall paintings, megaliths and stone circles, seeking ways to connect with the forces of nature. Since those times, artists and designers have been profoundly influenced by the images, colors, patterns, structures and systems of nature around them.
At times of turbulent change in our history, as in Hellenistic Greece, medieval Japan and Europe at the time of industrial and political revolution, new art forms have evolved in order to address the changing relationships between nature and society.
During the political and social upheavals of the 1960s, a group of artists in the United States and Europe increasingly questioned the restriction of painting and experimented with radical new ways of responding to the environment and its ecology. Rather than paint the landscape, their experiences were realized by sculpting the land itself, by photographic sequences and in sculpture made from natural materials.
Since the turn of the Millennium, world concern over environmental issues such as pollution and global warming, species depletion, new genetic technologies, AIDS, BSE and foot-and -mouth epidemics has increased. Artists, in turn, are responding by answering collective cultural needs and developing active and practical roles in environmental and social issues.
Within this context greenmuseum.org has been established, creating a web-based source of information on both established and emerging artists, linked to a network of like-minded organisations around the world.
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