It’s hard to know how to feel about the wind. Sometimes it’s annoying — blowing papers out of your hands and hair in your face. Sometimes it can be cool or even calming as it rustles through the trees. Perhaps wind is here to remind us that nature is ever changing; it can be harsh and it can be kind. It has a life of its own.
From the famous plastic bag scene in American Beauty to the Disney song Colors of the Wind the changing nature of the wind has inspired artists. Check out these other inventions, sculptures, instruments, and animated shorts that celebrate the living wind:
Theo Jansen’s “STRANDBEEST”
Dutch artist, Theo Jansen, built a large mechanism out of PVC that is able to use the wind to move on its own. The mechanism, known as the STRANDBEEST, is a life of its own. “I make skeletons that are able to walk on the wind, so they don’t have to eat,” said Jansen. “Over time, these skeletons have become increasingly better at surviving the elements such as storm and water and eventually I want to put these animals out in herds on the beaches, so they will live their own lives.”
Anthony Howe’s “Octo”
American-born artist, Anthony Howe, created this surreal, kinetic wind sculpture out of steel. “I was bored with everything being static in my visual world,” Howe told the Creators Project.
Luke Jerram’s “Aeolus”
Aeolus was inspired by Luke Jerram’s research trip to Iran in 2007. Whilst in Yazd Jerram interviewed a Qanat desert well digger about his life. The well digger spoke of the wells singing in the wind. This research trip led Jerram to investigate the acoustics of sacred architecture and to make his own wind powered work of art. In the end he created Aeolus, a giant stringed musical instrument, an acoustic and optical pavilion designed to make audible the silent shifting patterns of the wind and to visually amplify the ever changing sky.
Mike Tonkin & Anna Liu’s “The Singing Ringing Tree”
The Singing Ringing Tree is a wind-powered sound sculpture resembling a tree in the landscape of the Pennine hill range overlooking Burnley, in Lancashire, England. Completed in 2006, it is part of the series of four sculptures with the Panopticons arts and regeneration project created by the East Lancashire Environmental Arts Network.
Robert Lobel’s “Wind”
Robert Lobel graduated in 2012 with a degree in Illustration and Graphic Design in Hamburg. Now he lives and works in Berlin. The fantastic film depicts inhabitants of a strange windy land.
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About the Author
Robyn Purchia I'm an organic-eating, energy-saving naturalist who composts and tree hugs in her spare time. I have a background in environmental law, lobbying, and field work. I believe in God; however, I do not call myself a Christian or a Jew or a member of any religion. I am merely someone who finds a spiritual connection to all humans and the environment. You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.