Umberto Eco and the Gnomes of Gnú

“No doubt your civilization has some very interesting features: but if you bring it here we’ll loose our meadows, our trees, our rivers and we’ll be worse off. Would you mind not discovering us?” So said the chief gnome in Umberto Eco’s The Gnomes of Gnú, a children’s book beautifully illustrated by Eugenio Carmi. Author …

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Nature in the City – The Work of Diane Cook and Len Jenshel

“You see, as a kid growing up in Orange County, nature was this place we drove to.” This quote is from an essay by James M Brown which was the winning essay in this year’s WOLFoundation annual writing competition (download full essay here). It expresses what is in danger of happening as a result of …

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Making Cleaning Up Fun – The Hudson River Pageant

Last night I went to a benefit party in New York for a wonderful organization that uses art and performance to make cleaning up the local environment fun. Earth Celebrations was founded by Felicia Young as an organization that uses art and performance to raise local awareness in New York City about the environment of …

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Nature or Environment? The work of Pétur Thomsen

“Umhverfing is an Icelandic word for the state between nature and environment” says Pétur Thomsen of his project titled Umhverfing. There is clearly no equivalent word in English but the concept itself is intriguing. Icelandic photographer Thomsen has spent the last several years documenting the transformation of undeveloped areas around Reykjavic into suburban developments. He …

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Our Relationships To Nature – Gaudi’s Architecture

Nature has inspired humans in many ways over many centuries. But maybe none match the completeness of Antoni Gaudi’s relationship with nature – Nature as structural, functional, spiritual and decorative inspiration. Gaudi was a spiritual man with a great regard for nature as God’s creation. The newly consecrated Sagrada Familia “strives to compress all of …

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UK Landscape Photographer of The Year

I have so far resisted the temptation to include in this blog what I call ‘straight’ photography – that which is a ‘reproduction’ or ‘reportage’ of some version of reality but which has no strong conceptual basis. In other words photography that brings us little that is new in terms of conceptual thinking. Traditional landscape …

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