While reading the new ‘LandArt book’ Expeditie Land Art it occurred to me that magical word empty, in Land Art.
On page 89 you find the start of a description of the writers visit to Lightning Field from Walter de Maria.
What Walter achieved with this piece of Land Art is to create the experience of an empty field, a field which will stay empty for many generations to come.
Most fields will not achieve that, that immense feeling of emptiness.



A filed is never truly empty, bare, blank, deserted there is something always something. YET, it can give you that feeling of being purposeless, meaningless never unfinished.
Walter de Maria made sure to preserve that feeling in the whole of the creation and preservation of his work The Lighting Field.

People will say and did say this is no art but than was it his purpose to create art or was it to preserve a landscape on the brink of disappearing of this planet.
Due to his planting of metal rods you now can visit this place with just 5 others alone without; phone, tv, radio, books, magazines, internet for at least 24 hours to experience empty, silence, idle, clear vision.

Everything in our lives has some kind of monetary value yet the most important aspects of life appears to us free of any charge. It will not be for long and than when it is gone perhaps than we realise what we have sold.

i can see you

can you see



Forest Museum

At times people see gardens as museums for special plants, perhaps we can see the forest as a place for special trees.
While we wander around the forest remembering fairytales, wondering gnomes under our feet, a distant call of the fluttering bird, do we see what it could be.

Alan Songfist did.
Making art by planting trees in the shape of that or perhaps that other fluttering bird.
An amazing piece of art hidden for the human eye yet clearly seen by bird-eyes.

Land Art Forest hidden beauty

hidden forest

An other fantastic piece of work from Alan Songfist is “Time LandScape” again made with trees, situated in New York City.

Agnes Denes is an other land artist who created forest art, with a more hidden message of ‘this will never be sold’.

How about a cathedral made with living trees, well more than one person had that idea but like paintings no Land Art is the same.
Whipsnade Tree Cathedral is a 9.5 acres cathedral created and planted by Mr Edmond K. Blyth, starting in 1932 long before the land art movement came along.

The Tree Cathedral by Giuliano Mauri is made with hidden trees as in each column a young Beech tree is growing. The columns are made with branches and sticks woven into a structure which is more than just a tree protector.

The Green Cathedral “De Groene Kathedraal” made with Birch trees not to last forever but leaving a lasting memory of trees on the new created land in the Netherlands.
Marines Boezem was born just 2 years after Mr. Blyth started to plant his green cathedral.

Land Art Forest hidden drop


From the ‘Green Cathedral’ it is a short drive to go to “Het MuseumBos” where you can find several pieces of land art created with trees.

Land Art Forest will not be a new idea but than who made the first painting? How many paintings did follow?
Lets wish we create just as many Land Art Forests as we created paintings.



Land Art Conversation

The Land Art ‘movement’ never wrote a manifesto like other art movements. You can therefor find as many different definitions of Land Art as there are land art artists.

Land Art Poetry 'Crack'

Land Art Poem

The following definition inspired me into a new thinking in 2009:
“Land Art is a conversation with nature/landscape, questioning our (human) relationship with the land and nature, to articulate the experience of landscape and nature.”
Perhaps the conversation between me and nature became literal, in the meaning of actual, by writing with and in the landscape the feelings it aroused in me.

Land Art Poetry

There were it happens


An other much used definition comes from ‘Ben Tufnell’ in his book ‘Land Art’ :
– Land Art is the use of art to enact or articulate a direct, non-pictorial engagement with landscape and nature, or to re-order our response to place, landscape or nature.
The photos here are the documentation of the art but not the Land Art.
When you look at both definitions you see the word articulate, which means so much as expressing oneself ‘clearly’ or speaking ‘clearly’.
Expressing oneself has everything to do with putting in words or show an emotion.
Words do disappear like nature these days.


the disappearing of words



My response: Nature does not discriminate what has made the land/ground, it doesn’t matter if mining or termites or even earthquakes made the ground. Constant change is a main principle, once gone nature comes back different.
As Land Art urges us to RE-examen our relationship with landscape and nature. Can we re-create landscape/nature or is it once gone, never come back?


Land Art Poetry Trail



I wanted to find out if we can re-create nature within a man made landscape.
To do this I had to let go of box thinking; culture, wild, environmentalism all belong to a box with a certain label. Human-made can be nature. The Land Art should not become moralising and certainly not a new box with attached new labels.

In this way I made ‘Vagdavercustis’ by having a conversation with nature and the landscape. I Re-examine my own relationship with nature and the landscape, seeing what we articulate, express put into words can become nature.



LOPE not loop


If we walk or if we drive we see and experience landscape.





What is in the name of a TREE

Hedge Clegyr Boia

Hedge above a hedge

So many people said you can’t grow trees here, so many times they said you can’t grow that tree, but the trees did.
There is still a general notion in Pembrokeshire that you can’t grow trees there. It is even used as an argument in planning regulations of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
Yet, you will find trees growing all over Pembrokeshire, even right on the coast.

Beech and Pine Clegyr Boia

who said i can’t grow here

The list of trees you can grow in such an exposed area should be limited. After reading lots of books about the subject and looking at the landscape, certain tree came definitely on the list.
Others were a pure tryout. The above photo shows a Beech tree (Fagus sylvatica) with an old christmas tree. Both trees planted as a tryout.
The Beech was planted in 2003 but it did little to nothing. The X tree was planted in 2005 and suffered but started to grow after just one year.
In 2010 the Beech decided to follow and this photo is taken on 11 May 2012 showing both trees healthy and with lots of new growth. The top of the Beech is a bit weak and hangs down, perhaps it was a bit too greedy.

Flowering Apple Tree

yes Apple can

So many of the other trees proven them all wrong as well. This Apple tree was planted within a shelter facing south and still today provides lovely Apples.
By an old house, which once served as a small country pub, stand some very old Apple trees in the shelter of some Ash trees and Privet (Ligustrum vulgare).
The privets were not cut for a long time and became open trees, still providing enough shelter for the Apple trees.
Learning from the old the new was planted to grow the same way.
On the northern part of the globe it is handy to have the trees sheltered from north and east and facing south. On the southern part you best provide shelter from south, the heath and not the cold.
Make a kind of horse shoe shelter with shrubs and trees.

bramble and young tree

Bramble letting through a young tree

So started a new forest thinking which went well beyond the planting of some trees.
Maintaining 16 acres of land while involved with other Land Art projects and not to forget bringing up a child is a challenge.
Parts of the land had to defend for herself, with some surprising results.
Whenever you go to a blog or website about forestry, you will read about the ‘nasty’ Bramble. A very invasive plant by the looks of it. It literally walks over the land as new shoots grow up at first, then bend down and make new roots for the next step onto the land.
You can cut and pull as much as you want but they keep on going on. In the end just a path was kept free by bending the Brambles back.
One day while doing a routine check i came across a young tree pushing through the Brambles. The tree was never planted it came on its own and was grown over by the Bramble but this seems to help rather than hinder.

Native with NONnative

Native with NONnative

There are many trees and plants for that matter which can be called invasive no matter what their nationality is.
It is a discussion held on many levels in many places about native and nonnative.
An other blogger is giving lots of information about this discussion to prevent the cutting down of a wonderful forest in the name of nonnative tree forest must be replaced.
At times i looked at this issue but did as with all the rest went on and let the trees decide.
The native can live and do live happily next to the nonnative when you give them a change. It is my opinion that diversity is more important in a forest than the native only.
Perhaps the monoculture has created this issue more than we let on.
The Eucalyptus you see here come from that part of Australia which has a similar climate as Pembrokeshire. There are over 700 different Eucalyptus all having their own strength and way to grow. The Eucalyptus on the land are all small Mallee trees, there are even Eucals who don’t grow much bigger than 2 metres (7 feet).
This experience will not stop the discussion but the trees have changed my mind about the native nonnative issue.


All these lessons have taught me one thing look at the trees in the forests to learn and be surprised.
The trees of Land Art Forest will be many of many different kind benefitting the forest each in their own way. Some will be there for fruits and nuts others for their flowers and nectar and other for their amazing looks and some for their wood.
This forest you will see because of the trees as they will not be planted in lines of one variety. All forest are made by trees, Land Art Forest will be trees.




juggle Forestry

how old farmland became new

The land art projects on the land at Clegyr Boia, Wales enact an illustration, model for The Land Art Forest.
On 25 November 2002 me, doggy Stamper and my chickens moved from The Pumpkin Shed Walled Garden to 6 hectare (16 acres) of land at the foot of Clegyr Boia.
Clegyr Boia is a rock which was one of the first settlements in Wales.
Farmers had used the land for centuries and the last years in a very intensive way, leaving the soil bare and tired. The above photo shows the land under plastic covering for the growing of early potatoes. Some of that plastic, most likely, is floating around somewhere in the plastic soups of the oceans.

just the beginning

The idea behind this project was to create a balance between nature and culture, with Land Art.
The best way to describe it would be: ‘recreating nature with culture’.
So many people express their doubts, giving me advice, but i had my own ideas. On the small field (photo above) i would experiment with my own ideas. On the other fields i worked together with conservationists.
The first year i thought many times, this is never going to work as i discovered how sad the soil was.
The land lays on a peninsula exposed to the salty coastal-winds which dried the land out in the summer and in the winter the land stood exposed to rain which washed lots of soil down the drain.


I started by creating circles, one large circle in the middle surrounded by 9 smaller circles. Each circle told a story with plants about the surrounding landscape.
The whole had an embracing hedge which i planted with bare root shrubs and trees.
Many different trees and shrubs were planted to see which one would perform the best under these circumstances.
Well, except for one they all survived.


The above shows the progress in one circle called Gossamer. In the first year the poor wild roses just hanged in there, 2 years later the lovely driftwood stick had to be placed onto  a log to stick her head above the roses.
The stones in the middle came all from the land, bucket by bucket i got them while seeding.
In 2008 the rocks had to be placed on a high pile to make space for the roses and 4 years later i had to prune the roses to make space for the rocks.

seeding heather

If you look closely on the photo you see a small green wheelbarrow filled with heather cuttings.
Next to it i stand with a lovely job to chuck the cuttings in the air for random landing.


the result



The top field has lots and lots of stones, large and small, all over the soil and in the soil.
The farmers used to remove the rocks with a machine before seeding, only to plough more up a season later.
The field lays on a slope which did help the rain to wash a lot of soil down.
Therefore we chose this field to be returned into a heather field.
Yes, it was hard work but the result made it all good.
This field was created together with the help of conservationists.

It shows that we can give back to nature what others took/take away from nature. It is so wonderful to see how a site recovers and how nature enters where it once was forced out.
The chemical residue was high, intensive agriculture does not tolerate nature at all and use a large selection of chemicals to spray it out of existence.
Yet, it returned in all her glory in not a long time scale and with limited costs.

heather nectar


I can tell you so much more about this and i will, the message i want to give here is how nature does recover and how trees grow against all odds.



nEw ways to sEE nature

seeing drops

new discoveries while on your knees


Many people say to me; my photos made them look differently to nature, they now see things closer. When you take your time and sit down, you will see something different no matter where you are.
Our eyes have their limitation and our brains fill in the rest, but who tells our brain what to see. The manipulated photo of what we want to see, according to who ……?
Is it the artist, fashion, media or our surroundings?

novel ecosystem

down the beaten track


As a land artist you need to know your material just like any other artist does. A painter knows her paint, the brushes, the underground, the sculptor knows their wood, stone, iron. A land artist find their art-material in the landscape,  where ever that landscape is you will find nature there.
It is often said that land artists have a dialoge with nature, using no words or signs. They alter the landscape with material found in the landscape. At times these alteration last just minutes at other times they last years.

planted landscape

created landscape


In a way they create a connection between culture and nature, which is not always appreciated.
Some artists travel large distance to find them special ‘wild’ places to create their art, to spread their wings in unknown territories. Sometimes their inspiration comes from nature herself, many times it comes from who pay their travel expenses.
All of them make us look at nature in a different way.

Pink Rocks

natural sculpture


We always intervene in nature, humans have been changing their environment since they walk on 2 legs. Out of them interventions come new ecological systems, creative driven ecosystems. (Novel Ecosystems)
How do we divine nature? Them landscape which has not been touched by humans? We have changed the chemistry of the air, the chemistry of water all over this planet.

human made wilderness

wild or tame?


One destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things (Henry Miller).
In Europe we altered the landscape for many many years and them altered landscapes are now natural wonders in their own rights.


planted giant


We actually can give something back to nature, we can create with nature new ecosystems with a new way of looking at nature. Areas which were once planted by humans and than neglected become very unusual but beautiful places to reconnect with that nature.
Nature doesn’t care about nationalities, the wind seeds them plants no matter where and no matter where the mother plants come from.

water buffalo

an allien


Perhaps this WaterBuffalo in Pembrokeshire should not be or perhaps it always has been but just went for a long holiday.
The non natives often help to create that environment the natives need to survive, lets call it natural balance.


created landscape


The above photo shows a landscape made by mining and sheep farming, is it therefor no good? Is what we see here no nature?
It is now a national park where they try to keep it in the way it is. Perhaps the national park should let nature decide what it wants to do with this new landscape.

Land art can certainly create new landscapes by working together with nature.

Novel land art

how old farmland became new

In the next blog i will show you more about this piece of land in Pembrokeshire.

It stands model for the new to create Forest Vision







Than just than the water became a mirror as the wind called behind.
It revealed silence in noise, in uproar, sound echo  echo, silence in noise
sound source of silence, underwater while above, on the surface feathers
still there, like screams of geese and line clouds of wasted journeys
silence my mind

paint reality

to see what you and me can’t see
don’t want to see
a laced wing, laced netting, filigree cord sting
intertwine, interweave, mix it all, give it silence
klingerly klang of a horse shoe on concrete

glace wing

see beyond time
a feather comes with thousand drops
to do what hasn’t been done
camera under water under surface reality
dare to see surplace reality shattered movement

under or above thats the question

a boat past, waves come all moves
wobble bobble zobble
into reappearing silence, moved to be stuck
a drop reflection into a subtle action
reaction of a fraction into
inner moment, inner movement
shadows reflection, than just than

moved to be stuck

the boat pushes her under where i lay surprised
faces what to see, no longer care
all them drops
just one little feather
feels so good, so beautiful, attractions
in that one tiny moment of passing

that feather

by elegant, glamour on a surface movement
shift in charm, to relocate me and
seeing beyond, seeing inside reflection, under drops
we only see outer reality
stir, switch, leave, transfer

seeing in three dimension
i have to go now, i need a piss
my inner calling
how to make 2D into 3D with an inner feeling
kijk nou

een veertje dat me heeft leren zien, leren kijken, een ander perspectief.

it will never be sure when or how we see not knowing how to show

mAgdA september 2017 alblasserdam