Q:

What is ephemeral art?

A:

Ephemeral art can have several meanings, though they are not necessarily mutually exclusive. One type explicitly calls for the use of environmental or natural media. The other calls for materials and compositions that speak to the notion of ephemerality, or time itself.

The first type, that concerning nature and natural media, is described as a genre that combines said natural elements with artistic creativity. As a phenomenon, pieces in this genre are intended to allow the viewer to perceive art and nature working as one, within a single unit of expression. The basic underlying intellectual or conceptual framing of the genre proceeds from an increased awareness of the human relationship with nature and an impulse to work with it rather than in opposition. Some of the common compositional elements found in this branch of ephemeral art are stones, earth, trees and plants.

In a slightly different vein, the other form of ephemeral art calls explicit attention to the idea of the transitory impermanence of life, objects and their arrangement. Examples of ephemeral artifacts, or ephemera, include such diverse things as ancient land art, chalk drawings on a sidewalk or ice sculptures. Buddhist sand mandalas, which are created with the express intention of dismantling them, provide another strong example. G. Augustine Lynas, Daniel Doyle, Niall Magee and Alan Magee (the latter three comprising the collaborative Duthain Dealbh) are further examples of sculptors committed to the use of ephemeral media in their sculpture, particularly in using materials such as snow, ice, sand and even fire. In such a way, artists can directly experience a relationship between themselves, their creations and the passage of time, as the art forms give way to external forces and the fleeting integrity of their constituent components.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is tribal art?

    A:

    Artifacts and objects created by indigenous peoples living in tribal communities are referred to as tribal art. Examples include totemic art made by the First Nations tribes of the Pacific Northwest, African masks and the stone statues on Easter Island.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is Rangoli art?

    A:

    Rangoli, also known as Kolam, Chowkpurna and Alpana in different languages, is a Hindu tradition that means "a row of colors." Usually, Rangolis are colorful designs created to welcome guests for special occasions.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is vector art?

    A:

    Vector art is made up of scalable parts defined by mathematical equations rather than pixels. The parts are editable and maintain the highest quality in all scales and media, including on screen and in print.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does "medium" mean in art?

    A:

    In art, "medium" refers to the physical objects used by artists to convey messages to audiences through the senses. Mediums used by artists vary widely, and range from tools including paints, brushes, pencils and pastels used by traditional artists, to instruments, voice and electronics used in the auditory arts. Additionally, sculptors use raw materials like wood, paints, clay and plastics to create figurines and sculptures.

      Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore