Richard Shilling

Richard Shilling

Richard Shilling

Richard is an environmental artist from Lancashire, who makes sculptures using the landscape and materials found in nature to create site-specific works of natural art. Richard’s nature art takes many different shapes and forms, his speciality is in small scale ephemeral works using fragile materials, such as leaves, grass and other growing organic elements, to create transient sculptures made only from what is found in the environment around where the sculpture is made but also regularly makes larger scale works for various events and on commission.

Ephemeral nature art it is all about the process of intuitively creating in a natural setting using foraged materials in order to forge a deep connection to everything surrounding you and by setting himself the task of creating art with what he finds and with what nature allows him to make he seeks to make new discoveries about what it means to be alive. He photographs every sculpture he makes in natural light, using normal camera equipment and without using photoshop save for standard darkroom techniques. Each photo then accurately depicts how each sculpture appeared, at its most vibrant moment, before the elements reclaim the materials back to nature.

It is generally accepted that the work of Andy Goldsworthy inspired a worldwide movement in this style of art and the ephemeral nature art of Goldsworthy inspired Richard to begin his journey too. It has spawned many branches variously known as earth art, land art, environmental art and includes rock stacking and rock balancing too. But as Richard continued to deepen his relationship with his creativity and with nature herself he developed his own unique style and now provides inspiration to others and delights in teaching the philosophy behind connecting with nature through ephemeral nature art throughout the UK and around the globe.

Although much of his time is spent teaching and sharing his passion for this artform he seeks to further deepen his relationship with nature by continuing to explore themes to do with transience, time, ecology and the constant flux of the seasons, expressing these ideas through his unique nature art images. Richard spent two weeks with us as Boundary Way’s first Artist in Residence, using his time to share the wonders of his art with local school children, members of the public and our project team. He also created some incredible land art pieces from materials found at Boundary Way and these were exhibited in our Sense of Place exhibition.

“I was honoured to be invited to be the first Artist in Residence for the Boundary Way Project in October 2017. It was such a rewarding and fulfilling experience to spend time with a myriad of different people during my two weeks there, creating art and enjoying our time communing with nature together. In some places they state you arrive as a visitor and go home as a friend and I can honestly say that is exactly how I feel about all the folks I met at Boundary Way.”

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