The Art of the Natural World

The Art of the Natural World

The latest appreciation in our 'For The Love of Art' series focuses on the enduring relationship between artists and the nature that surrounds them.
The latest appreciation in our 'For The Love of Art' series focuses on the enduring relationship between artists and the nature that surrounds them.

O ver the past few weeks I have become increasingly conscious of my morning routine, and just how easily it can change. My old routine would have seen me sleeping through my first alarm, before heading bleary-eyed for the tube. I would cram myself on (usually finding myself uncomfortably close to somebody’s armpit) before peeling myself off at Oxford Circus and heading into work, largely oblivious to the world around me before my first hit of morning caffeine.

JEAN-PIERRE CASSIGNEUL, JEUX D’ENFANTS, 1981. Estimate £35,000-45,000.

But recently it’s all been a little different. Nowadays my morning routine sees me stumble out of bed and open a window – I’m almost obsessed with how quiet it is, listening intently to the sound of the wild birds that seem to have invaded my local neighborhood, like a pack of tourists on the first day of the summer holidays.

From my window I can see blossom start to appear on the apple tree at the bottom of my garden, and spy the occasional squirrel attempting - and often succeeding - in stealing peanuts from my supposedly squirrel-proof bird feeder. If there is one thing that this situation has taught us, or at least taught me, it is to take the time to look and experience the nature that surrounds us in our everyday lives. Now we are afforded the rare luxury of time – time to breathe, time to look and time to listen to the natural world around us.

Sam Taylor-Johnson, Self Portrait as a Tree.
Sam Taylor-Johnson, Self Portrait as a Tree, 2000. Estimate £4,000-6,000.

Art and nature have always gone hand in hand. From the earliest beginnings of the visual arts it has been the natural world that has inspired artists and makers to create. A constant source of inspiration the world over, artists have looked to the subject, creating some of the most inspiring works – paintings, prints, photographs or sculptures that take us out of our everyday lives, away from our houses or flats and transport us to wide open beaches or wooded forests.

Explore Lots from Sale Inspired by the Natural World

Now more than ever we look to art as a form of visual escapism, offering a window to a world that for now we are prevented from interacting with. But once this is past – and it will pass – my hope is that we will all be a little bit more grateful for the beauty of the world that surrounds us, and really take the time to stop and to look. And to breathe it all in.

Modern British & Irish Art

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