Art and understanding

Derek CliffordArt and Understanding, Greenwich Connecticut, New York Graphic Society, 1968, p. 54.

Man as a Maker

If the way in which we perceives natural objects is so complex, what of objects which man has made ? Is there any way in which a man-made objects is less « natural » than one shaped by wind and water ? It is certainly very  difficult to see why there should be. Man is, after all, himself one of nature’s phenomena and what he creates is no less the creation of nature than any other consequence of the impetus of life. At what point can we say that the decisive change of kind occurs, A bird is « natural »; is its nest? A beaver is « natural » ; is its dam? A caddisfly is « natural »; is its encasement? In what essential way does the web of a spider differ from a steel-girder bridge? Or the corridors of a mole from the arched palaces of kings, (plates 16,17).