“Landscape is a medium of exchange between the human and the natural, the self and the other. As such, it is like money: good for nothing in itself, but expressive of a potentially limitless reserve of value.”

Excerpt from ‘Landscape & Power’
By W.J.T. Mitchell

In the roller coaster world we live in its easy to forget how much land we’re using up and transforming it with a never-ending multitude of uses – buildings, roads and lots more buildings and roads. I feel we don’t take into account just how much our urbanisation plans and continuous development is ruining this special country. And its a small country too don’t forget. I don’t understand why we insist upon plundering our natural resources, tearing up our land as a result when we should be harnessing them.

These small experiments I have undertaken look to challenge our view of what’s natural and unnatural, usually its very obvious but by using natural elements and transforming them into an ‘urban product’ I hope to jolt the viewer into recognising what we’re doing to our precious spaces.

Infusing colour into a natural habitat is not unnatural when done so by planting flowers or viewing birds however when its put in through a spray can, a completely unnatural resource invented by humans, I believe it defines the natural order in which we are shaping and changing the world we live in.

For reference, I use non-toxic chalk paint for the larger outdoor experiential projects. The great thing with this is the marks are made and then simply washed away by the rain over a short period of time. Once again, I like the temporary aspect to this product as it’s more of a ‘natural’ painting medium.

It also leaves our lovely natural environment back into the same condition it was in before – in its ‘untouched state’. But the fact there its only a small piece of woodland left by the property building company for resident’s enjoyment and ‘managed’ by the local council. It leaves me to ponder questions about just how ‘untouched’ and ‘natural’ this little piece of woodland is. Though its obviously important to savour and rescue these special places of ‘landscape’ for ourselves wherever we can.

So to end, will the mark of human expansion ever slow in pace and will we be able to protect our natural landscape?


For more images visit my website at www.jennydrinkwater.co.uk or view my full art blog at www.illustratinganartylife.co.uk



It’s impossible to find something truly natural these days, even some of the most beautiful sights have been ‘constructed’ or ‘cordoned-off’ at some point to make ‘the perfect view’. Tourism is rife and the urban mark in the form of a national park, walking trails, a pub or lone house becomes an integral part of the landscape too.

As mentioned in a previous post, even the woodlands near to me have been ‘constructed’. They were either left alone to make the new housing development look less invasive or else newly planted around a few remaining trees to provide more of an architectural feature. Nowadays we find these everywhere we go. Most of them are taken for granted and not usually noticed. Gardens and parks are the obvious tell-tale signs of a ‘developed’ landscape.

The work I’ve continued with is about the ongoing dialogues between what is natural and unnatural. By placing glaringly obvious ‘graffiti-esque’ marks

on the trees I hope to show that what’s inside of these trees is man-made and ultimately an urban product. The coloured wooden ‘viewfinder’ attempts to metaphor what does and doesn’t constitute ‘a view’. It’s informal placement references my lack of restrictive attempts in confining what’s pretty and what’s ugly.

You also can’t get much more of an opposite material when it comes to metal wire. An easy juxtaposition but one that again points towards the restrictions placed on the landscape. One that constricts. One that is dangerous to the natural habitat of animals. And one that defines a ‘natural/un-natural’ boundary marker.

P.S. The paint used on the trees is a non-toxic temporary chalk paint that fades away within a few days to weeks.

See more images in the ‘Outdoor’ section of my website: