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The Environment's Omnipresence: The Art Portfolio of Troy Nickle

An outdoor installation of a figure made from junked car partsJunk Man, discarded car frame and parts assembled into a figure

Troy Nickle is a sculptor and installation artist who often works with natural materials and features of the landscape to create his works. The artist’s practice is inspired by the natural environment, but also serves as a pertinent reminder to the viewer of the environment’s omnipresence.

An piece of land art made by packing snow into a circle on a treeSnow Ring, snow packed onto cottonwoods, archival inkjet print


I like the way that Troy shifts between using natural materials in gallery installations, and working directly in the environment. In either realm, his works have a certain delicate, dignified quality about them. The artist doesn’t seek to manipulate the materials, but rather uses his practice as a way to, if only momentarily, place them in a new visual context.

A screen capture of Troy Nickle's art portfolio

In works like All of Us, Troy uses the land itself as a medium, in the manner of land artists like Andy Goldsworthy. There’s a human edge to Troys’ works, especially in the aforementioned piece, which comprises text implanted directly into soil and snow. Troy addresses the interventions of humanity on the earth, the impacts that they have and their permanence, or inevitable impermanence.

A line of text stamped into a grassy fieldAll Of Us, temporary installation on campus lawn at Governor's State University, Illinois

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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