Clever Land Art Installations Look to Nature for Larger-Than-Life Inspiration

Estelle Chrétien Land Art

“Opération terrestre”

Through her whimsical interventions, French artist Estelle Chrétien draws attention to the natural landscape. Whether “sewing” up a fissure in a lawn or placing a property tag on a rolling hill, Chrétien uses this land art to make viewers think about how we use nature and what function it has in our lives.

Chrétien's collaboration with artist Miguel Costa, Les pieds au sec, is a look at the fundamental role that trees play in maintaining the environment. Their roots not only prevent soil erosion but also help filter sediment and improve water quality. The clay boot fitted to the base of the tree mimics what's happening below the surface, with Chrétien calling these trees “giants that work the Earth.”

Other pieces, like Dessoustake inspiration from the context in which they were created. For this clever installation, created during an artist residency at the Collectif des Possibles in France, the artist outfits a double-trunked tree with a pair of floral underpants. This humorous decision actually relates back to the residency's location in a former textile factory. In fact, the fabric for the underpants was actually produced there.

With PropriétéChrétien makes a simple, effective statement about land ownership. By placing a painted door and metal ring on a hillside, she transforms these materials into an ownership tag. The purpose all goes back to a fundamental question that she poses. “This land is private but what about the landscape?”

All of her installations, which are ephemeral and disassembled after a few months, embrace nature as an extension of our world. For her, “everything is mixed, that we are part of it, nothing is external, there are no borders even if we put them everywhere.” While she feels that art is more responsive to changes than causing change in the world, she hopes that these installations can bring joy to those who see them.

French artist Estelle Chrétien creates whimsical land art.

Estelle Chrétien Land Art

“Dessous”

Whimsical Art by Estelle Chretien

“Dessous”

Her installations take inspiration from the natural landscape.

Environmental Art by Estelle Chretien

“Les pieds au sec”

Environmental Art by Estelle Chretien

“Les pieds au sec”

She hopes they bring viewers joy and make them think about their own relationship with the natural world.

Estelle Chrétien Land Art

“Propriété”

Estelle Chrétien Land Art

“Propriété”

After several months, the ephemeral installations are disassembled.

Estelle Chrétien Land Art

“Opération terrestre”

Whimsical Art by Estelle Chretien

“Colonne”

Environmental Art by Estelle Chretien

“Colonne”

Estelle Chrétien: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Estelle Chrétien.

Related Articles:

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Fully-Furnished Rooms Installed in the Cramped Underground Manholes of Milan

Spectacular Land Art Installations Complement the Beauty of the Irish Countryside

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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