How can I take care of this landscape around me, knowing that every action I take may or may not be actually detrimental to the place that I live?
I think a lot of people now acknowledge that to be a good environmentalist, you need to live in the city in a dense place and you need to take the train to where you’re going. But at the same time, we have a lot of romantic ideas about solitary experiences of landscape that are really deep in our narratives. How do we bring those two things together?
If I approach this [artistic practice] as, this is what I want to do in my life, how would I make this have a meaning to someone besides myself?
Village Green is comprised of suspended greenhouses that allow visitors to pop their heads inside the structure to experience a worm’s-eye view of the plants within. Our presence in these mini-ecosystems reminds us of the many ways we can interact with and connect to our landscape.
Vaughn Bell is a multimedia artist who explores questions of how landscapes are observed and stratified and how to connect to and experience the physical world around us. In an interview with CHF staff Bell ruminated on the ways Village Green brings us to a more personal awareness of landscape, on our understanding of constructs such as “natural” or “wild,” and on what makes the practice of an artist relevant to environmental issues. Watch the clips above to hear about and see Bell’s reflections on the evolving relationships we have with our surroundings.
To find out more about Vaughn Bell and her work, visit her website.
Watch the three videos above: Vaughn Bell discusses how her interest in the environment developed and manifests itself in her work; how we view nature and how these viewpoints might influence how we treat the environment; and the genesis of her work Village Green. Use the arrows to navigate through the video and images.