FEATURE: The landscape is my blank canvas

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With the world moving at such a fast pace nowadays, not many people have the time or opportunity to discover their creative minds or the natural environment around them.

But for one Dales artist, doing just that is not only a full-time job – it’s lifestyle and a passion that makes her “heart sing”.

Meet Matlock land artist Viveka Bowry. For the last 18 years she has been walking the Dales in search of the perfect blank canvas for her work.

“Land art brings together everything I love in life,” said Viveka. “Being out in nature, using my body and creating art that is part of the environment.”

The idea behind land art is to create an “intervention in the landscape” using only natural materials found on site.

Viveka explains: “Whether I’m using rock, stones, leaf, plant matter, or anything else, the sculptural forms I create are transient, in that they only remain until the wind, rain, sun, tides or a wild animal breaks them apart.”

However, it’s not just the joy of creation or being amongst nature that drives Viveka – it’s also the meditation and self discovery of the medium that she loves so much.

“When I find a place where I want to start work, I’ll often sit silently and meditate for a while – just to get into the zone,” said Viveka.

“And when I am working, I always keep a notebook with me and jot down my thoughts and experiences so I can reflect back afterwards.”

Once a piece of art has been created, Viveka takes a photograph of the work, before it reverts back to it’s natural state.

“This art-form resonates with and aligns itself with the laws of Nature – the cycles of birth, maturation, decay, re-birth, and the self-sustaining cycles that arise from the very pulse of Nature.

“The only thing that remains are my photographs which provide a visual documentation and means of communication about the work,” said Viveka.

For anybody in the Dales who is interested in trying land art for themselves, Viveka has launched a series of workshops for people to try.

And whatever people’s level of artistic ability, Viveka believes anybody can have fun doing it.

To find out more visit www.vivekabowry.co.uk or call 01629 258362.