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Nidhi Goel – Semester One


 The workshop was interesting as I have never experienced a seminar like that, I saw, experienced and felt a different aspect of nature.

I started with different things that come to my mind when I think about nature and I had a list of different subject matters.

The workshop consisted of observing and looking through a bunch of different videos, showing a different side of nature. It made an uncomfortable and a disturbing atmosphere. The image of a man ripping out organs of a horse, to keep himself warm and for his survival; the image of a women who was about to be stoned to death by forced on by fellow girls as her baby died, and they stood up for  

The one that interested me was by an artist called ‘Ori Gersht’ called ‘Big Bang, 2006’ it’s a video art piece, showcasing a beautiful arrangement of flowers in a glass jar – the bouquet is kept in a dark background making me question the atmosphere of the piece instantly. The video proceeds with a calm sound. To me it personally sounded like a ‘Tibetan bowl’ making me feel at ease, at calm. The video continues with the same serene atmosphere and then there is a sudden shift in focus with a shatter, destruction of everything – an explosion. It leaves the audience in an impression of a sudden shock. The beauty of this piece was before, and during the destruction, the slow-motion effect makes it so interesting to me – teaching that nature gives and takes – makes and breaks – gives birth and takes away life. All these are beautiful characteristics of nature, there are different aspects. The creation and destruction together sum up his artwork and Nature.


‘Forager and Farmer’ Workshop of Nature – The Acorn

I personally loved this workshop. It as a direct connect to the nature.

This workshop started with learning about oak trees,

As a group we planted 25 acorns, hoping they turn to mature oak trees.  When an oak tree reaches the age of 20 years it can almost produce 2,000 acorns a year.  But only one of those acorns will grow into an oak tree- they can produce acorns for 700 years.  If 25 oak trees grew for 700 years, there is a furthermore possibility of 17,500 oak trees. 10 years old Oak tree can absorb and store 0.10lb’s of carbon per year, thats 0.250lb’s of carbon per 25 trees and 1750 per 17,500 trees  When our oak trees are 20 years old they will each absorb and store 0.70lb’s of carbon each year, thats 1.750lb’s of carbon per 25 trees and 12,250 per 17,500 trees  When our oak trees are 100 years old they will each absorb and store 62lb’s of carbon each year, thats 1550lb’s of carbon per 25, 10, 85,000 per 17,500 trees  2,240 = 1 ton – so our 25 trees will absorb and store about half a ton when they are 100 years.

The workshop proceeded with us going on a nature walk in a group and looking for fallen acorns, observing the surroundings. The idea of using fallen acorns and not buying them or plucking them interested me, as the exercise felt more connected to nature.


Experimentation and Reflection –

The second workshop was about us reflecting on all our ideas and everything that we have done, learned before and channel it together to create idea and develop it.


I was fascinated by the idea of creating a new life, giving back to the nature – loosing yourself to nature and finding something new.

I started brainstorming and came up with a drawing project and a best out of waste project. The best out of waste was a project based on two key pillars. Cleaning surroundings and creating a new life. The project was – the group looking for unnatural items in nature, picking them up (cleaning) and creating a pot from that unnatural collection of items, and then planting an acorn in them. Through this we learn how man kind can slowly toxify nature, but we would learn with some time we can make a great impact just by picking up and trashing unnatural elements such as plastic, so easily. Furthermore, creating something with that for a new life.

My second project was an indoors as weather cannot be neglected.

It was a collage project, that can be easily set up. I believe that every artist has a style, that they work in – inspired from their life exercises or learnt from another artist, marks created by their emotions – making an artist piece. My idea was having everyone do as many art pieces on paper such as, paintings, doodles, line drawing splashes of painting, listening to nature and creating rhythm on paper, and putting a collection of art works together on how they see nature as. Some would see the sunsets, some would see or hear the storms, natural disasters – colours of autumn or winters. Later all would be put together as a collage work, appearing as a big piece of art, but the closer you go the deeper the art works would get. It will be rich with ideas, perspectives, motives and more.

It would also be a bonding session for the peers, and we will be looking and understanding each other’s views and how they put it together.


The chosen project

The Workshop with the group activity is about leaf printing with nature. The leaf, stems, stricks will be collected from the nature – and what interested me was we will be making our own natural paint to paint with.

Experimented with normal paint first to see how the imprints work, and I was amazed with the results.


I got maple tree to experiment with, and for the project and did some research work to know more about the leaf i will be working with.

Maple trees are one of the most well-known trees, found in the norther homispher. The maple leaf is the symbol of the Canadian flag. Maples belong to the family Aceraceae, and there are more than 128 species, making it an incredibly diverse and fascinating family of trees.

I found these interesting facts from a Tentree website, that I came across while researching, it is a an ego based clothing. I absolute loved their website as with their products they are educating their audience, making them self aware and protecting the environment by using alternatives for example: using reusable clothing packs for packaging no plastic.

Maple trees are ancient

According to fossil records, maple trees are actually quite ancient. They date back to at least 100 million years ago, if not even older. These trees were growing when dinosaurs roamed the Earth! Of course, not every species of maple tree survived from that time. But maples belonging to the family Aceraceae existed back then and still today.

Maples vary radically in size

With more than 128 species of maple in the world, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they vary so much in size! Some maple trees can be grown as Bonsai trees, only a few inches tall. Others tower to upwards of 150 feet! The world’s largest known maple tree, a bigleaf maple found in Oregon, was 103 feet tall and had a spread of 112 feet! Unfortunately, the tree succumbed to a wind storm in 2011.

Maples do flower

When you think of maple trees, you probably think of their foliage. But maples do flower as well! These flowers can be red, yellow, orange, and even green. The flowers are pollinated by insects like flies and honeybees. These seeds produce the iconic “helicopter” seeds that fall slowly from the trees’ branches.

Maples produce the best syrup

Some of the sweetest, richest syrup comes from maple trees. A maple tree must be 30 years old before it can have its sap extracted and made into syrup. It takes somewhere between 40 and 50 gallons of maple sap to produce just 1 gallon of syrup. The process of harvesting sap for syrup does not harm the trees.

Maples live a long time

When grown in the right conditions, maple trees can be quite hardy and live a long time. If planted in the right place, a maple tree can live for 300 or more years!

Maples suffer from disease and pests too

The Asian long-horned beetle in particular is a huge threat to maple trees in Canada and the United States. Thousands of trees in Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts have been lost to the invasive insect. Maple trees are also impacted by various fungal diseases.

Maples are used to make whiskey

Syrup isn’t the only commercial good that maple trees make! Charcoal from maple trees is required in order to make Tennessee whiskey, using the Lincoln County Process. This process is used when making almost all Tennessee whiskey.

Maple is a “tonewood”

Maple trees are considered to be a tonewood, which is a type of wood that carries sound waves well. Because of this, some musical instruments are made from the wood of maple trees. Violins, violas, double basses, and cellos all have components that are usually made of maple wood. Drums and some woodwind instruments, like the bassoon, also are made from maple. The necks of electric guitars are also commonly made from maple. Les Paul once famously wanted an all-maple guitar, but due to the weight of the wood, he had to settle on using maple only for the tops of the guitars.

Maples are a tourism boon

Some of the most iconic fall foliage is a result of the maple’s red, orange, and yellow autumn foliage. Sugar maple trees are the favorites for fall foliage, attracting people primarily to New England and eastern Canada. In Japan, there is a custom called momijigari that specifically celebrates the changing of the maple’s leaves.

Maples are important for bees

More and more alarm bells are being raised about the loss of honeybees. Without bees to pollinate, it will be much harder to feed the world! Maple trees are an important source of pollen early in the spring for honey bees waking up from their hibernation. If you want to support your local bees, plant some maple trees!


My base concept for my project for the winter exhibition – This project has photography and prints from nature exploring patterns and texture. The prints can be further used on walls, bags, and other items. The prints follow a disciplined structure, giving a therapeutic calming experience to the viewers.


I had already done some photography I started making compositions with them to see what happens, while doing so I planned a sound track of a ‘Tibetan bowl’ to accompany the compositions for the tree parts


moving forward with these compositions and a few more ideas, i found i was lagging behind and had stopped enjoying making the collages.

After a presentation in class realized I need a tight topic to work with and a better vision for the next presentation.

Week 10

By week I realized i wanted to do something more to take the idea and the texture of tress forward with something else and my projected took a turn with the idea for the exhibition.

My project is about exploring lines in nature the patterns and textures have always attracted me. I find them intriguing. I started my project with photography of trees looking and studying parts their part, such as the leaves and barks. Photography helped me capture the mood and the visual experience of the character of the wood, but I further wanted to experience texture and it led me to explore printmaking – continued and took the printing workshop further.

Print  making has been a form a medium of art for over hundreds of years it started from carving in caves rocks an animal skin an other surface is the terms would cutting engraving in etching or techniques from our history going back to the 5th century and now with technology evolving we have lithography digital printing and even the use of lead in UV rays

I was highly inspired by the artist  Bryan Nash Gill – An American artist – wood medium – known for his sculptures and prints- woodcuts – “Art is (or should be) an authentic experience, which brings you closer to understanding yourself in relation to your surroundings.” -Bryan

I could understand and relate to his work, I could also understand why my photography looked a certain way I could understand the emotions of the trees.


My work is falling into place, had better responses from the last presentations – Now I will be conducting a workshop for the exhibition sharing the art of printing. started collecting factual information on leaves, spices – mainly turmeric to make my workshop more interesting.

Turmeric – The root of the turmeric plant is in the same botanical family as ginger, and is native to Asia. It is the ingredient in curry that creates a deep, yellow color. For thousands of years, this spice has been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes.

In fact, there are records of turmeric being used as early as 250 B.C. for medicinal purposes such as relief from food poisoning and providing liver support. It’s used as an ayurvedic medicine – helps with cholesterol, asthma, diabetes sugar problems and more – it is also an antiseptic and used to treat several skin problem – Nowday’s used in beauty products as well.

How a leaf work, scientifically.


Visit the Rock Gardens | Nek Chand Foundation

The rock garden was a little world that I had explored a few years back. This is a natures project. It is situated in India, in Chandigarh. It is made in an area of about 40 acres worth land. The start of this project was in the 1957, and was secretly done as a spare time hobby. The rock Garden is also called ‘ Nek Chand’s Rock Garden, the creator of this beautiful sphere. Nek Chand Saini is a self-taught sculptor from India born in the ‘Gurdaspur district’ in the 1924 (moved from Pakistan and India border to India with his family during the partitions.) He worked in the Public Works department, starting from construction of roads, being a part of the first planned city in India, while he was off work, he was creating a benchmark.

Rock Garden is situated near Sukhna lake, his journey started by collecting waste material around the area as it was a construction site, and a tourist spot. He collected all types of synthetic waste such as bottles, food packets, cloth, medicine boxes, bottle caps plastic and steel, jewellery such as broken bangles and other ornaments, and started recycling with his own artistic vision.

He created sculptors of traditional dancers, musicians, animals through technique of pottery and reusing concreate; and structured and decorated them with the waste materials he found.

He was working in a forest conservancy – prohibited area, but with time i.e, 18 years his work had extended to 12 acres of land with recycled sculptors in a form of interlinked courtyards. It is said that his work was about to get removed and destroyed when found but getting the public support and to see a new different approach to art and recycling, the conservancy was converted to a public garden. This project moved forward with Nek Chand getting recognition, salary, and workers to further establish the place. Now, it is one of the most visited tourist attractions in India, the 40 acres of creativity is made with home, and industrial waste – it is supported by the government – it also holds cleaning projects resulting in material for the rock garden.

 I personally remember the atmosphere, within the garden area it consists of beautiful manmade interlinked waterfalls, dens, hutches burrows and more. The area is covered with greenery and gave a fresh cleansing experience.

The more I observed the more amazed, Nek Chands designed the place into sections to be explored and each part has an issue of a story – While entering He created the first section as a kingdom of gods and goddess. There are stone shaped figures and few greater figures welcoming the visitors, the doors of the entrance are small making the visitors bow down at the footsteps of the kingdom and paying their respects to the gods. He created an entrance with welcoming figured moving to a king’s arena with his court members called the ‘darbar’ each figure is carefully designed that it starts telling you a story, each figured stone has its own identity – moving to the open area with musicians and court members and kings and queen – celebration area- this section personally showed me the story of how kingdom in north India must be, the hierarchy the luxury the ambiance.

Then there is a shift in the characterisation of the rocks, they got smaller are more in numbers, it was called the music plaza, the visitors are welcomed there with soothing traditional music tones. The music of a sitar and table being played was therapeutic. The musical atmosphere explained the characteristics for each figure. The rocks were formed in such a way the looked like each has an instrument that they play, they are calling the musicians guards. This section had some intriguing parts, he had designed walls and pathways using waste materials. One of the areas that attracted me was a sudden rust colour glimpse from a distance, when went closer it was a wall of traditional pitcher pottery. He has assembled them as a wall, and narrates a story of music, the pitchers are of different shapes and sizes and each makes a unique sound. In the olden times while manufacturing bulbs, there were holders in their manufacturing process leaving out a lot of waste materials. Nek Chand hand collected most of them from the factories waste and used them to make unique wall pieces. The last wall in this section was made wrong smalls stones, each and every little one, was lined and structured. I was blown away with this section too, but now what intrigues me is the patience, disciples his structure has was so perfect sending me in another zone off reality. The next section showed the wildlife in Chandigarh, I found the peacocks the most intriguing, patiently sculpted with, and decorated with vibrant bangle pieces.

He has designed a theatre and sculpted structures representing temples with intricate connoted details.

The other section reflected on the lives of people. He designed and showed the difference between the high class, middle class, and the lower class. The discrepancy was clearly visible due to the size, posture, and the colours – such as the higher-class figurines were sculpted upright a bit distant and were decorated with coloured glass ornaments, giving the rich luxurious impact. The middle-class people in simple tiles and lower class were decorated with ornaments connoting to begging. This section was a biter truth showing the reality, hoping for some change with the caste systems existing.

The second last section was a tribute to the armed forces, that personally I felt emotional and heart warmed about, the representation and honour was clearly seen.

The last section had a vast area with swings, making a personal enjoy the wind and calmness – therapeutic experience gain.

This experience inspired and educated me so much about the conservation of environment, and with my natures project I wanted to create something natural that can be used or seen in our daily lives and is recyclable and does not harm our environment.

I further have inspiration to create more, I could relate to the conservation of the environment as it related to my project and point of views. I made natural paint and prints, for decorative purposes at home and recycled old bags that I am personally using. I would want to further look at the creativity and explore the idea of story telling to make a difference as it personally impacted my views on certain issues.

With this projecting ending,

I have learnt a lot over the past few month. I have developed mentally and learnt new skills through this project. From struggling for ideas, and conducting a workshop was a development mark for me. I surely struggled whiles presenting it, as my nervousness took over – but the support of my peers and my tutor really helped me get through it. With my final research as well, with the rock garden, I saw and understood the concept of  telling a story through your work and narrating it to a wider audience. With all the difficulties I have enjoyed my reaching and have pointers I will be further working on

All this started by planting an acorn!

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