Richard Shilling’s incredible ‘intuitive ephemeral nature art’ consists of vibrant, colourful, but ultimately fragile pieces that gradually fade back into the surroundings from which they are created. Be inspired by his work to create your own.
“To intuitively create one must spend some time in nature until you become connected and from there our creative abilities open. This process applies to everyone, not just artists. We simply need to stop in nature and open our senses, and the inspiration follows from there. On occasion I make something where everything aligns perfectly at exactly the right moment to get the perfect image, only for the sculpture to fall apart seconds later. Perfect form, perfect light, an interaction with wildlife perhaps and a moment where I am really deeply connected with nature – these experiences are always a surprise. When I made my Norwegian Maple Autumn Fire Wheel the form just seemed to come together without any effort. After two days of chasing the light to take a picture of my Chase the Setting Sun Wheel a hoverfly flew next to it in the only moment the light was right and everything aligned.
I use my art to show people how to connect; by sitting, stopping, and opening our senses and our creativity everyone will nature connect, young and old. Once we’re in that zone we make things, share stories and live more how we are supposed to. As we get older we find more ways to disconnect. Younger children have no problem at all following this process, it is our natural way of being, so really it’s older children and adults that get the most from creating land art.
This year I’ll be appearing at lots of festivals across the UK and beyond hosting both adult and children’s workshops; find me at the Belladrum Festival in Inverness, the Deershed Festival near Thirsk. But the thing I’m most looking forward to is the Llano Earth Art Festival in March 2019 in Llano, Texas! When I went in 2018 I met fascinating and talented rock balancers and land artists from around the world, and came home brimming with new ideas for projects. There’ll be new horizons breached and new minds influenced to see the value of nature connection and this artform. There’s a movement growing around the world and I am excited about spreading the word some more!
TRY AT HOME
Richard’s advice for nature art newbies
It’s very simple, just go somewhere with trees or grass or whatever you have near you and follow the instructions below. An adult once said to me only five minutes into a workshop “it’s amazing what you can see when you stop and look!” That’s it, there’s no secret to it: stop, look, find, collect, create!
Find a stiff stem, a smooth stick or a long stalk attached to a sycamore or horse chestnut leaf then search for leaves. See how many different colours you can find and how many different varieties then push each one onto the stem or stalk to create a leaf stack. This can be done any time of year, by anyone and will soon connect you to nature – that’s what it’s all about!