Since Antiquity, the artist’s first concern was to imitate nature, its power, its beauty, its strengh : its « sublime » character. This fascination for the nature has taken various forms, from Eden to the Jardin des Délices to Arcadie pastorale, a symbol of the Golden Âge … Over the centuries, nature is cultivated, ordered, channeled by the hand of man, and apparently controlled – but the « wrath » of the Earth manifests its revenge upon the elements. Artists concerned by environmental issues, choose to interact with nature, creating works in situ like Land Art or through appropriations as in the case of Arte Povera. Facing the ecological catastrophes of the modern world and its muations, arises the universal question of Man in relation to Nature. The current challenges surrounding the preservation of the environment, ecology and a « green world » are all subject of a great deal of questioning among artists.
Trying to create an artificial nature, man appeals to science and technology, and in turn, some artists embark on exploring the infinite possibilites of these artifacts. While other artists, sometimes unexpected, develop a concrete and organic approach, pursuing the discovery of materials and energy derived from nature : wood, plants, clay, minerals, air, water, … They celebrate the fauna and flora, the raw beauty of the wild.