How to enjoy nature!
In 2010 I was invited to Art Ii - Biennale of northern environmental and sculpture art in the small municipality Ii outside Oulu in Finland. You enjoy nature same way as you enjoy other things, preferring the most beautiful scenerys, good weather, idealizing the image, looking away from the dirt and manmade elements such as power lines, roads and deforestations. Not to mention the bugs, the mosquitos. So my first idea was to make mosquitotraps and that way setting a space in the nature free of it's faults.
I also wanted to arrange this space into perfection by planting beautiful forest flowers, and change all the defects of the trees with scuplted leafs, bark etc. It would have been interesting to follow the process when nature claimed this space back. A beautiful idea but to hard to realize within the time limit and conditions at hand.
Instead I surfed the internet and found a step by step manual of how to enjoy nature and it started like this;
1. Go outside
2. Sit down on a rock, some dry leaves or simply on the ground.
3. Next, close your eyes, and picture in your mind the nature that surrounds you – Interesting. So you have to close your eyes and picture yourself the nature around you instead actually watching it. But the mosquitos still bite.
4.Do something peaceful, such as fishing or meditating in the woods.
And in the end some words of warning; Don't choose a place that might contain dangerous animals.
You can read the full list here at wikiHow.
How to enjoy nature!, 2010, Miniature model, mosquito traps, two humbrol paintings (Starry sky of Ii, 100612 & Sunset), plaster, wood etc.
I made the mosquito traps and they didn't work, so they became in a way a touching failure in my attempt of mastering nature.
The end result became a 'craplike' wooden and plaster sculpture with the title 'How to enjoy nature'. Mounted on it were two paintings. One of them an iconic sundown, a fantasy of how a sundown by Iijoki river could look like. The other showed the Starry sky of Ii at the time of the opening of the exhibition. On the piece was mounted a mailbox containing printouts of the step by step manual. The sawn wood, the colors, the plaster are material refined by man and doesn't look especially natural when put back in the wood like this.