What is Nature – well, that depends. The work of Kyle Zeto

What’s with the picture of a man with a forest for a head?

This is the work of Kyle Zeto, a young artist just completing his art school studies.  The aim of his work is to cast “Nature” in a different light, to confuse us as to how we should and can think about “Nature”.

He rightly points out that human views of Nature have changed through the ages.  In times past, Nature was a source of awe, threat and fear.  Roman soldiers were reputedly terrified when marching through the Black Forest in Germany and, in different circumstances a forest can, today, give us either an uplifting or a terrifying experience.

Kyle Zeto is still in the early stages of developing his work but his ideas are compelling.  He points out that our interaction with Nature and the place that Nature plays in human culture is ambiguous and variable over time, from culture to culture and from person to person.

His use of masked figures, such as the mask in the shape of a bee-hive shown below, enhances this ambiguity and jolts us out of what may be our complacent view that the only way to view Nature is as a thing of beauty that is to be preserved and conserved in its current state.

Images in different settings and with different masked figures create a sense of threat; a sense of the isolation of Man from the natural world.

Kyle Zeto’s work is interesting and useful because it breaks out of what has become the standard ideology that drives art that promotes an environmental agenda. His work questions what may have become glib and embedded assumptions about what Nature is and how we relate to it.  Assumptions that may be simplistic and blinkered except in the sheltered world of environmentalists speaking one to the other.

All images in this post are Copyright of Kyle Zeto.  All Rights Reserved.

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