Concepts I am categorised as a land artist or someone who works with art and nature. In reality my work explores nature and culture, inner and outer. As an artist I am interested in the connections between different natural systems. As a result my work gets infinitely more complex as these webs of connection grow. In nature, pattern and order arise out of complexity. My work is neither decorative, conceptual nor minimalist, although it contains elements of these within it. In the past I would walk in out-of-the-way places in the world and make small interventions in the landscape: shelters, cairns, etc. These would be photo-documented and presented along with baskets, objects and bundles made from the materials of the place. Making shelters and baskets was a way of connecting landscape to culture. My commitment to this aspect of landscape led me to site-specific commissions, often for small rural communities in Europe and Japan. These took the idea of making shelters into cloud and wave chambers, where in a dark, mysterious inner space, clouds or water drift across the floor. It also took the idea of turning the basket into large, woven, and sometimes growing, domes, and other structures. Because early on I came to the conclusion that 'man is nature', I have gone on to explore microcosm and macrocosm, the body as a microcosm of cosmic processes and art/science crossovers, in particular flow systems and the human heart. Influences Initially my influences were the Land Art, and Art in Nature movements in Europe and the US: Smithson, Hiezer, Long, Fulton, Beuys, for example; also cultures that have a close relationship with the earth and their particular landscape, their way of life, architecture and artefacts; individuals who have had a close association to wild places on the planet, e.g. climbers, explorers. In the case of, say, the architecture of an indigenous culture, my interest would be based more on 'how' and 'why' they reached the solution of what materials they used, than to try to emulate them. The process those people use in choosing a readily available material in the most practicable way so that the structure sits well within its landscape is one that I would also apply to a given situation. I read a lot of science, anthropology and ecology books. I am interested in language and how it defines how we see the world. I read widely to explore all connections but ultimately I make my work through intuition. Only afterwards or in tandem do I make these links. Career path I studied figurative sculpture at Camberwell School of Art in the late 60s at a time when Gilbert & George, Richard Long, etc. were at St Martins. After leaving college I scraped a living making portrait heads of managing directors, while living a rural existence in an old pigman's cottage in Kent. It was here that I was introduced to Hamish Fulton by my dentist. We formed a close friendship and I went on a walk with him in the Canadian Rockies. That walk persuaded me that I wanted to make art about nature and wild places. It took me 10 years to work the figurative element from Camberwell out of my work. Hamish Fulton introduced me to Simon Cutts of Coracle Press Gallery in London, who exhibited "Medicine Wheel" at Coracle, in New York and then at The Serpentine Gallery, London. Simon Cutts then went on to put the show and book together called "The Unpainted Landscape" with The Scottish Arts Council. In 1975 Simon introduced me to Declan McGonagle who gave me my first big one-man show at the Orchard Gallery in Derry, together with a book/catalogue: "Shelters and Baskets". This show travelled through Ireland and then came to Leeds City Art Gallery and then Paul Nesbit toured it through Scotland. In 1982 when Declan had moved to The Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, he gave me a one-man show there with an installation "Cloud Chamber" in the famous courtyard. In 1979, because of "The Unpainted Landscape", I was offered a deal and a show with a gallery in Los Angeles. The show and the space were amazing as were the reviews, but the offer of reliable fixed income was a dream because the dealer was an unscrupulous crook, and I was much relieved to emerge from it 5 years later with most of my work back and some of the money owed. For a whole decade this experience soured me to commercial galleries and the art market. Fortunately people began to commission me to make works in their landscape. This has slowly snowballed and I now rarely have to search for work as people come to me. I have been scrupulous in extending a network of connections out into the world and responding to all leads and enquiries. Artists who work in Nature are, by and large, a very nice group of people and we all help and recommend each other for work. A lot of work is artist-generated. It was also at this point where I made the decision never to make a sculpture unless it was paid for at the point of making, and the work stayed in the place for which it was made, ie no storage, no need for exhibition space. My work, however, has become very diverse and I use many ways to explore similar themes. Most of these new works are on paper and can be stored or shipped, or can be reproduced photographically, or digitally, or can be drawn on the wall or simply installed in a gallery. This all makes economic sense when you have to exhibit your work around the world and freight is very expensive. It also means I can now once more show work in museums and galleries and have dealers in London and elsewhere, while not being totally enslaved by the system. You can always say no to things you don't want to do if you have enough work from another source. Public Collections Arts Council British Museum Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum Contemporary Arts Society Government Art Collection Henry Art Gallery, Faye G. Allen Center for the Visual Arts, University of Washington, Seattle Leeds Art Gallery Nevada Museum of Art, Reno North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, Nashville, Tennessee Victoria & Albert Museum Wellcome Trust, London Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester read full statement

Location Lewes, South East
Website http://www.chrisdrury.co.uk