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Nature Sculptures Exist Between Natural and Man-Made Beauty

Martin Hill and Philippa Jones make the kind of work you can't see in a gallery.
January 20, 2016, 10:15pm
Martin Hill and Philippa Jones, Synergy. Images courtesy the artists

The above photograph is one of a kind. Even if you stand in the exact same spot, under the exact same weather conditions, it will be impossible to recreate. That's because it is the product of a 23-year-long collaboration between by artists Martin Hill and Philippa Jones. They create sculptures from natural materials, photograph them, and let them fade away without a trace.

The only proof those sculptures existed is the duo's stunning man-meets-nature images, which they exhibit in galleries all over the world, from Beijing to New Zealand. "I was drawn to make ephemeral sculptures in nature because I see the process as encapsulating the cyclical operating principles of nature that we need to adopt for a sustainable economy," Hill explains to The Creators Project. All his artworks are made with materials found on site, such as ice, snow, or loose branches, and then returned back to the environment.


Hill and Jones have taken this approach to photography and sculpture for two decades, traveling the world while exploring sustainable design. They've been able to put a lot of time and thought into each photograph and series. One patron paid them to spend a year creating a dozen photographs all around New Zealand's Lake Wanaka. A personal project called The Fine Line has been in progress for a decade as they capture sculptures along a line of mountaintops encircling the world. All of their works encapsulate the simplicity of nature photography, but with a satisfying symmetry that can only be constructed with human hands.

Martin Hill and Philippa Jones, Alpine Ice Cycle

Martin Hill and Philippa Jones, Rainforest Guardian

Martin Hill and Philippa Jones, Autumn Leaf Circle

Martin Hill and Philippa Jones, Ice Planet

Martin Hill and Philippa Jones, Antarctic Guardian

Martin Hill and Philippa Jones, Sunrise Circle

See more of Martin Hill and Philippa Jones' work on their website.


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