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Biodegradable Art

Published on December 07, 2020

Biodegradable Art

Students create nature-based installations in campus arboretum

"Tree of Life" by Aubrey Crook

"Green Goddess" by Catherine Najarian

"Overgrown" by Cecilia Dell

"Dragons Breath" by Jeffrey Bowling

"Artemis" by Jeffrey Bowling and Aubrey Crook

"Streaming" by Noah Yilmaz

"High Stakes" by Olivia Jenkins

"Go with the Flow" by Casey Dundon

Social distancing wasn’t an issue for students in art professor Robert Greene’s “Installation Art” course, who created nature-based installations in the woodland setting of Eastern’s Arboretum. The largely biodegradable projects—collectively known as “Into the Woods”—are not permanent or environmentally invasive to the campus nature preserve.

Students used a range of building materials, from hollowed-out television sets to found organic matter, to create the installations. “They will have their time to exist and will either deteriorate or be taken down after a few months,” said Greene.

“The few semesters I’ve taught this course have been amazing,” said Greene, who introduced the course to the Department of Art and Art History upon joining the faculty a few years ago. “The students’ creativity surprises me every time. Some have utilized what they've learned and incorporated installations within their senior projects.”

Installation has become a movement in the academic and professional worlds of art, according to Greene, who says it’s a form that artists of any modality can participate in. “Installation art can consist of any media and is limitless in its potential. It’s about creating or turning a space, indoors or outdoors, into the art itself… basically transforming or incorporating the space into an artistic experience.

“By allowing students to participate and discover the concept of installation,” he says, “they are better prepared for a competitive worldly experience, broadening their scope of creative thought and process.”  

Written by Michael Rouleau