10 astonishing sculptures that blend perfectly with nature

Art is often said to hold up a mirror to nature. But these sculptures go one step further, and become a part of it.

Inspiration can come to us in many forms, but in the cases of the incredible sculptures we've listed here, the artists have found inspiration in nature, from sand, trees, rocks, and even in the shape of the land.

Using natural and organic materials, as well as the very earth itself, they've created breathtaking art that looks perfectly at home within their surroundings; so perfect, in fact, that you might almost believe it occurred naturally.

01. Earth to Earth

Sculptures that blend with nature

Ice was carved into a perfect semi-circle to create this stunning piece

Martin Hill and Philippa Jones worked on a series of sculptures designed to represent cycles that exist in the natural environment. Here they have carefully carved ice into a perfect semi-circle, which is reflected in the lake to form a circle.

"The use of the circle refers to nature's cyclical system, which is now being used as a model for industrial ecology," Hill explains. "Sustainability will be achieved by redesigning products and industrial process as closed loops – materials that can't safely be returned to nature will be continually turned into new products."

02. King Hollow

Sculptures that blend with nature

This incredible stump-sculpture was carved with a chainsaw

When Tommy Craggs sees tree stumps, he sees an opportunity to create incredible pieces of artwork, which is just what he's done with this one in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire.

You wouldn't expect such fine detail to be possible using a chainsaw, which is Craggs' 'paintbrush' of choice.

03. Black Rock Desert sand art

Sculptures that blend with nature

Denevan used rakes and sticks to create miles of crop circle-like patterns

Forget sandcastles – surfer and sand artist Jim Denevan uses entire beaches as his sketch board, creating miles of crop-circle like patterns using rakes and sticks.

In 2009 he created the world's largest single artwork in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. The bubble-like pattern had a total circumference of over nine miles and took Denevan and three colleagues 15 days to complete, working day and night. Now that's dedication.

04. Lake Baikal ice art

Sculptures that blend with nature

This breathtaking creation was carved from ice

Although much of Denevan's artwork is drawn in sand, he's still able to create his work on the ice. Far removed from Californian or Australian beaches, in 2010 he travelled to Lake Baikal in eastern Russia to create this land art, which covered a total of nine square miles.

Given the harsh climate, it's fortunate that Denevan and his team of eight people were able to create such a large work of art in the time they had before the wind swept it away.

05. Northumberlandia

Sculptures that blend with nature

This huge sculpture is best viewed from above

When it comes to nature sculptures and land art, we couldn't leave out Northumberlandia from our list. This huge land sculpture of a resting lady is 100 feet high, a quarter of a mile long, and was made of 1.5 million tonnes of rock, clay and soil.

The sculpture was designed by Charles Jencks to change with the seasons and evolve through generations.

06. Desert Breath

Sculptures that blend with nature

This desert creation covers a million square feet

This incredible example of land art outside El Gounda, near the Red Sea in Egypt, was designed by artist Danae Stratou and architects Alexandra Stratou and Stella Constantinides.

Completed in 1997, it took the team two years to complete, and covers a staggering 1 million square feet. Desert Breath still exists, but has transformed due to the (very literal) shifting sands of time.

07. Spire

Sculptures that blend with nature

This 90 foot spire was created from 38 individual trunks

If you're ever in San Francisco, make sure you visit The Bay Area Ridge Trail, where you can find Andy Goldsworthy's impressive 90 foot sculpture, Spire, which comprises of 38 cypress tree trunks. Constructed in 2008, Spire will continue to evolve, as younger trees growing at its base will one day obscure the sculpture.

08. Crop fish

Sculptures that blend with nature

These giant fish symbolise the unity between Poland and Ukraine

Polish artist Jaroslaw Koziara grew two giant fish between Horodyszcze in Poland and Warez in the Ukraine, sowing 23 different types of plants along the borders. The fish are intended to symbolise unity between the two countries.

"Ukraine is not a part of the Schengen area and thus is the dividing line for the whole European continent," explains Koziara. "But artists cannot agree with that - this is how we create ideas that bring to life extraordinary border defying projects."

09. Coalesce

Sculptures that blend with nature

This bird-feather sculpture has true wow factor

Kate MccGwire created this piece from layering bird feathers on top of one another. MccGwire collected the feathers from pigeons and mallards that she found on the ground and painstakingly cleaned each one to prepare them for the piece.

We love how the sheen of the feathers is visible on the gentle curves of the sculpture, creating an effect like oil dripping from a tap.

10. Collapsible Leaves

Sculptures that blend with nature

This installation was created using hundreds of individual leaves

It must have taken an enormous amount of patience to create this installation, which consists of hundreds of individual leaves packed tightly together and folded to create a wonderfully textured sculpture. Imagine having that for your topiary!

The leaf sculpture here is part of a project by Tokyo-based florist Azuma Makoto called Collapsible Leaves.

Words: Samantha Stocks

Samantha Stocks is a freelance writer and editor.