Emphemeral Art Projects

Ephemeral nature art is made from natural found objects, it is temporary, designed to only last for a short time or to be changed over time. It uses the shapes and colours of the found objects create unique art works, different every time. Have a go at creating your own unique pieces in the railway land.

First: Collect some bits and pieces. (Look around you, what can you see? Sticks, stones, fallen leaves and flowers, pinecones, bits of bark, berries, moss, feathers). Take care what you collect, watch out for stinging nettles or poisonous plants e.g yew berries; don’t pick flowers, you want to leave things as close to how you found them for other people to enjoy; use a basket/box/bag to carry bits in).

  • Can you find things of different colours?
  • Or different Sizes? e.g tiny fluffy feathers or larger magpie feathers.
  • Shapes? a deep lobed sycamore leaf or a long thin willow leaf.
  • Textures? E.g. a soft reed head, a spiky teasel head or a bumpy alder nut.

Second: Lay out the bits you want to use on a clear patch of ground. Perhaps away from the pathway so that people don’t step on your art. You can use a tree stump or branch as a canvas too.

Third: Start forming the shapes thinking about the objects you have collected and where they would fit best. Would that leaf make a good beak shape for a bird? Does the stone you found make a good head? The great thing about ephemeral art is that you can move things around as many times as you like until you have everything in place.

  1. Move pieces around, add detail, collect more bits if necessary.
  2. Take a photo of your final piece of art. You can send it to us to share your creation with others.

Inspiring artists

Sculptor Andy Goldsworthy uses natural objects and the environment around him to create amazing works of art.

Hannah Bullen makes beautiful pictures of birds out of natural found objects.

And you can visit this page for more bird and other animal ideas.