Chris Drury is an environmental artist, who creates site-specific nature based sculpture, often referred to as Land Art. His body of work includes ephemeral assemblies of natural materials that he finds around him, as well as more-permanent landscape art, works on paper, and indoor installations. On paper, he uses a variety of unusual media—notably mushroom spore prints, dung, and peat—as a source of color and patterns, which he might overlay with text or fingerprints, or underlay with maps or other geographic images.
Drury’s work is an excellent example of artworks that promote green awareness by connecting nature and people. “Chris Drury concentrates on the interaction between nature and people, fungus and the human body” (Gooding & Furlong, 2002).
In Drury’s Portrayal of Poison Pie (featured here), he has created a hidden meaning. When you look at the artwork from a distance, it looks like the underside of a mushroom with carefully drawn lines in white ink. However when you look closely, the radiating lines in white ink are in fact a handwritten list of all the poisonous fungi in Britain and their effect on the human body. The fungi names are written in Latin and their biologically correct names. Drury says himself that, “mushrooms are the great recyclers of our ecosystems” (Gooding & Furlong, 2002). Poison Pie is about promoting mushrooms and their ability to recycle and clean the environment that humans have degraded, and about how humans and nature are connected.
Drury says “there is nowhere you can go that hasn’t been touched by man, and I think you shouldn’t start from the premise of cutting man out because we are nature, and that’s what interests me” (Gooding & Furlong, 2002).
Chris Drury talks about the process of making the piece Time Capsule, where nature will complete his creation as time continues. Watch the project from start to finish as students help create a natural masterpiece.