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Tuesday, November 15, 2011
It has been a while since I went to art college, so my knowledge of contemporary art is limited. Although interested in the art world, I rely on the media to inform me of interesting exhibitions or events. I fancied going to see the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition at The National Gallery, who would have thought it – tickets sold out already!
Anyway, my interest has recently been rekindled, I have discovered ‘Land Art’. Land art is a term coined by Robert Smithson, an American artist famous for his Spiral Jetty, a really good example of Land Art. The artist purchased a 20 year lease on a salt lake in Utah, USA, where he experienced a moment of clarity inspired by the landscape that surrounded him. He created a 1500 foot, counterclockwise spiral in the lake, by moving the rocks and sediment using a large tractor. According to Wikipedia the construction of the spiral only took six days, presumably on the seventh, Smithson rested. This was back in 1969/70, when the water level was unusually low. The Spiral Jetty has spent many more years underwater than it has as exposed, there is something magical and moving about this. The New York Times wrote ‘The most famous work of American art that almost nobody has ever seen in the flesh is Robert Smithson’s ”Spiral Jetty”.’ Somewhere in my subconscious I know I have seen the image of the ‘Spiral Jetty’ many times.
Spirals are a common feature in the natural world, for instance the nautilus sea shell and the beautiful Sunflower. Spirals have inspired artists for thousands of years, an example of this is the entrance slab to Newgrange Tomb in Ireland, a megalithic stone that is older than the Pyramids and Stonehenge. For goodness sake, spirals are what we are made of! The double helix is the structure of DNA, ‘the molecule of life’. It’s hardly surprising that spirals have been and will be an inspiration to artists and designers for eternity.
This is where I shoehorn a bit about logo design into this blog : ) Yes we have quite a few example of designs where we have used a spiral in one way or another. One of our most recent spiral inspired logos is cairnrock, a logo for a Human Resources company based in London.