Ear to the Ground: Earth and Element in Contemporary Art
Working with natural elements like earth, wind, water and fire, the contemporary artists in Ear to the Ground show how nature can spur artistic innovation and spark new thinking about human culture and community. In their art, nature is not just as a resource to be protected or exploited, but rather a generative force with its own sentient power. Mining earth both as a material and a metaphor, the artists in this exhibition treat nature as a teacher: a model for negotiating the complexities of contemporary cultural life. Informed by a kind of elemental logic, their art envisions new ways we might relate to the natural world, as well as to one another. Drawn predominantly from NOMA’s permanent collection, Ear to the Ground features work by 18 artists across vastly different media, cultures and time periods who each reference earth and element in very different ways.