A major artist of our time, Nils-Udo has introduced nature into the centre of the artistic scene. He will show a new installation in the Park of the Castle of Chaumont-sur-Loire.
This work, Gulliver’s Forest, will play on the infinitely large and the infinitely small. Very small shrubs will be planted by the artist at the foot of a cedar tree in the park. Soil and plants will be added and remodelled to offer visitors an unusual walk: both of a giant among the small shrubs and of a dwarf at the foot of the cedar tree.
In the form of poetic interrogation, Gulliver’s Forest will challenge visitors on the splendours as well as the threats hanging over our natural environment.
Born in Bavaria in 1937. He studied graphic arts in Nuremberg.He gave up painting in 1972, believing it to be an artificial way of handling nature and started to work, in his own words, at the source itself.
"Sketching with flowers. Painting with clouds. Writing with water. Tracing the May wind, the path of a falling leaf. Working for a thunderstorm. Awaiting a glacier. Directing water and light... Counting a forest and a meadow...."
He borrows his materials from nature. Anything to do with plants or minerals is an excuse to create: snow, flowers, leaves, berries, forests, water, stones and deserts. He rarely uses inanimate objects, preferring living subjects, which are constantly developing and changing. Subject to the laws of nature, the work of art itself becomes alive. The artist asserts that he thereby establishes a “spiritual and aesthetic dialogue” with nature, his only point of contact.
“With my work in and with nature, I am abolishing the border between art and life.”
The artist creates ephemeral works, installations that are just above water or in the centre of the desert which he immortalises by taking photographs of them. His most famous assemblages are his giant “Nests” in which he sometimes places human bodies or “eggs”.
“The Nests theme is undoubtedly the main theme out of all my work, which has been present in my work from the start. After my first large nest in 1978 on Lüneburg Heath, many others followed, in all sizes and all sorts of materials: bamboo nests in Japan, wicker nests in England (for Peter Gabriel), a winter nest made of snow in Bavaria, a “habitat” next to the Grand Palais in Paris as well as real birds’ nests in which I’ve placed eggs moulded out of ice.”
From installation to sculpture or photography, Nils Udo’s main work values this interaction, this interaction with nature, land of experience, when man acting upon his environment is aware of acting upon himself.
"My gaze may rest anywhere in the forest. Everywhere I look, I could set to work."