This unit explores the links between the natural world and human culture, and in particular how these links have been made in art practice. It emphasises contemporary art. It looks at 'nature' as a construct of culture and art, and at art's response to the significant human impact on the natural world in the age of the Anthropocene (the name given by scientists to the new era in geology caused by human intervention). From the nineteenth century through to the contemporary period, natural history - the empirical study of plants and animals - has preoccupied artists seeking greater knowledge of botanical and zoological life, and enrichment through spiritual connection with the otherness of nature. This unit considers artists whose response to the natural world has been mimetic, psychological, ecological, and philosophical. It addresses the intersections of art and science including the impact of Darwin and theories of evolution on artists both historical and contemporary, the prevalence of plant and animal imagery in art, design and popular culture, and the centrality of ecology to art today.
short visual analysis (20%) and group presentation (10%) and major essay (70%)
CATE1001 and CATE1002Prohibitions