Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Urban Nature - Ian Nolan

Urban nature spreads and proliferates throughout every pore of the concrete environment. It is almost as though, by persisting through the cracks of our own architecture, that it seems to be suggesting something to us. In my work, I look at how humanities relationship with the natural environment can reveal intrinsic and essential characteristics of how humanity constructs its experience of being in relation to the world.

I imagine the city as a great concrete jungle. We pass through it en route from A to B and take in little of significance. We have been numbed to the influence of external stimuli in this niche situation. But as we walk, a tiny little green weed sits, poking its head out between the cracks of the pavement. If we stop, look at it and think “I am going to notice all the weeds in this city” suddenly, this harsh environment has become a jungle in reality- plants and forms of life from all corners of the globe have cultivated and made for themselves a home amidst the architecture of our own creation. This can be an exercise in itself.

By painting on the natural elements of the city-place, I attempt to interrupt expectation in the behaviour of these elements within the sphere of our experience and create a space where we can begin to consider elements of the commonplace environment and our relationship to them in terms of new or as yet unrealised potentialities. It is at this point, where expectation has been interrupted and we become the author of our own interpretations, that we are able to consider our position and relationship to the places we inhabit in terms of consequence and significance.

It is only by challenging the perceptions and dogmas of our time that we can develop as a species and a society. So it can be a kind of activism, if you like. 

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