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Chris Drury (artist)

Chris Drury (born 1948 in Colombo, Sri Lanka) is a British environmental artist with an international reputation. In 2018 he was awarded by the Pollock-Krasner Foundation the Lee Krasner Lifetime Achievement Award 'in recognition of a long and distinguished career as one of Europe's foremost artists.'Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page). He is the second British artist to be given this award since it began. His body of work includes ephemeral assemblies of natural materials, in the mode associated with Andy Goldsworthy, as well as more-permanent landscape art, works on paper, and indoor installations. He also works on 3D sculptures (three-dimensional).

Chris Drury
Chris Drury Cloud Chamber.jpg
Cloud Chamber
Colombo, Sri Lanka
EducationCamberwell School of Art
Known forSculpture, Installation, Land art
Notable work
Mushroom Cloud, 2010
AwardsPollock-Krasner Award, 1995
ElectedRoyal British Society of Sculptors
Patron(s)Onca [1]

Some of Drury's lasting works are "cloud chambers", darkened caverns constructed of local rock, turf, or other materials. Each chamber has a hole in the roof which serves as a pinhole camera; viewers may enter the chamber and observe the image of the sky and clouds projected onto the walls and floor. He has made 13 around the world, with his latest, Horizon Line Chamber, opening in 2019 at Morecombe Bay, UK as part of the Headspace to Headlands Heritage Lottery Commission .</ref>

On paper, he uses a variety of unusual media---notably mushroom spore prints, dung, and peat---as a source of color and patterns, which he might overlay with text or fingerprints, or underlay with maps or other geographic images. He works digitally and has created echogram images of cross sections of Antarctic Ice drawing from his experience working in residence with hospitals and incorporating echocardiogram data and blood into his art.

His works in 3D sculptures include mushroom clouds evoking nuclear testing made out of as many as 6000 pieces of fungi strung floor to ceiling. These were first exhibited at his first major solo show in the USA Mushrooms|Clouds at Nevada Museum of Art in 2008</ref>

In December 2006- February 7 he was artist in residence with the British Antarctic Survey creating ephemeral work with the materials of Nature including Wind Vortices, ice prints and ice igloos which he photographed.[2] Additional residencies include The Nirox Foundation in South Africa

Recent exhibitions include 2016 EARTH – 10th March – 3rd April – A one man show at Onca Gallery, Brighton 2015 Exchange – 15th – 31st August. A Cape Farewell project with Kay Syrad about 3 farms in West Dorset. The Exhibition, includes a large leather bound book and several works on the wall representing a years research. The Fine Foundation Gallery, Durleston Castle, Swanage. 2014 Chris Drury, Lloyds Club Gallery 2014 Chris Drury – Mini retrospective and installation – Oppland Art Centre, Lillhammer, Norway 2011 Land Water and Language, Dovecot, Edinburgh 2010 Mushroom Cloud – Installation and Videos – Arte Sella, Italy Water, Land and Language, Taigh Chearsabhagh, Loch Maddy, Western Isles


  • "Chris Drury".. Drury's website.
  • Drury, Chris (1998). Chris Drury - Silent Spaces. Introduction by Kay Syrad. Thames and Hudson. ISBN 978-0500092767. Also ISBN 0-8109-3246-6.
  • Gooding, Mel; Furlong, William (2002). Artists, Land, Nature. Abrams. ISBN 978-0-8109-4189-2. Covers Drury in context with Herman de Vries, Nikolaus Lang, Richard Long and Giuseppe Penone.

2015 Exchange – Chris Drury and Kay Syrad -Handmade, A2 Leather-bound book, in an edition of 3, published by Cape Farewell Exchange – Chris Drury and Kay Syrad - hardback small version of above published by Cape Farewell and Little Toller Books in a limited edition together with inserted artwork: ISBN 978-1-908213-34-1 Exchange – Chris Drury and Kay Syrad – Paperback version of above – published by Cape Farewell and Little Toller Books: ISBN 978-1-908213-34-1 2014 Art and Ecology Now – Andrew Brown – Thames & Hudson ISBN-978–0-500-23916-2 2012 Antarctica – Exhibition Catalogue – Chris Drury, Philip Hughes, Bea Maddock, Anne Noble, Sydney Nolan, Jan Senbergs, Jorg Schmeisser – Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University. ISBN 978-0-9808044-7-8 2010 The Ethics of Earth Art (2010) University of Minnesota. Amanda Boetzkes 2009 Chris Drury Mushroom|Clouds Anne M Wolfe Centre For American Places/University of Chicago Press ISBNB-13:978-1-935195-02—3 2007 Land Art – Ben Tufnell, Tate Publishing Song of The Earth: European Artists and the Landscape –Mel Gooding and William Furlong, Thames & Hudson Ltd.; Published in USA as Artists Land Nature, Harry N. Abrams

Further readingEdit

  • Frosch, Dan (October 26, 2012). "Art That Irked Energy Executives Is Gone, but Wyoming Dispute Whirls On". The New York Times. Drury's artwork "Carbon Sink" was commissioned by the University of Wyoming. After about a year, it was taken down following after pressure from energy industry and political officials.
  • Nijhuis, Michelle (October 31, 2012). "The Artwork That Infuriated Big Coal". Slate. More on the Wyoming University decision to remove Drury's sculpture, and a comparison to Indiana University's handling of pressure regarding historical murals on campus showing the Ku Klux Klan's ascendancy in the 1920s.