Found in Nature: Installation Art by Troy Nickel

A wall installation made from birch woodHalf Circles, weeping birch

Lethbridge, Alberta-based artist Troy Nickle uses materials found in nature to craft his artworks. Troy works in three dimensions, often incorporating the surrounding space – whether it’s a gallery or an outdoor area – into his installations and sculptures.


A temporary installation carved into a lawn by Troy NickelAll Of Us, temporary installation at Governor's State University, Illinois

I like seeing the different natural artefacts that Troy opts to gather from the surrounding landscape to make his works. It’s an interesting look into the artist’s aesthetics and practice to be able to see the specific items and shapes that attract them. Often utilizing materials like wood, rocks and bone, Troy creates works that exhibit a certain level of control over nature, while still allowing these materials to look and feel the same as they would if one were to come across them outdoors.  


A screen capture of Troy Nickel's art websiteThe front page of


This sense of “just enough” control over natural materials is a theme that’s present throughout Troy’s portfolio. It’s perhaps the most obvious in his site-specific works, contrast between his gallery installations and his site-specific works where he creates works from (and in) the landscape itself.


A photo of an installation made by applying leaves and mud to a treeEndless Knot, mud and leaves applied to cottonwood (installation view at Helen Schuler Nature Center, Lethbridge, Alberta)

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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