What is art? It’s a question with many answers. For some it’s an issue of meaning and context; for others it simply boils down to the question of, “Is the art piece pretty?” I often refer to aquascapes as “aquatic art,” and for good reason. Not only are they visually breathtaking, but they can also convey a wide range of meaning — from chaotic nature scenes to carefully manicured tableaus. It’s amazing how quickly an aquascape can make the transformation from aquarium to art piece. Really, all you need to do is to place it in a modern art gallery and suddenly your aquatic garden will feel like a work of art.
Believe it or not, there are aquascaping art galleries out there. Professional aquascapers regularly display sample art pieces or host galleries that are open to the public in order to show off their stunning art pieces. Okeanos Group, for example, helped artist Pierre Huyghe created emotional aquascapes for an exhibition.
A similar art display in the United Kingdom showed off freshwater aquascapes from a collection of artists. Sponsored by the UK Aquatic Plant Society, the exhibition invited art-lovers to appreciate the unique beauty of a masterfully-designed aquascape. Each aquascape was grown specifically for the event up to two months in advance (as you may recall from the timelapse article, that’s about how long it takes for a freshwater aquascape to mature).
The four-day exhibition was a remarkable success. It attracted approximately 2,000 fans — some were hardcore aquascaping hobbyists, while others were simply art lovers who had no clue that such beautiful aquascapes were even possible.
I can see why visitors were impressed. The crisp, green aquascapes fit in nicely with their modern-style square aquariums and the stark, white walls. It all looks very 21st century with its effortless fusion of nature with modern technology and cleanliness.
I hope that you can draw inspiration from the Aqueous Art Movement art show. I’m not just being an aquascaping fan when I call aquariums pieces of art — they genuinely are gorgeous pieces. What I love most about them is how they combine natural elements with the artist’s creative mind. Normally, an artist has full control over his paintbrush and his chisel. Fish and aquatic plants, however, are living organisms that behave in charming and unpredictable ways. Aquascapes are a balance of law and chaos: the meticulous aquascaper precisely arranges plants to maximize the beauty of the growing chaos.
You can easily use an aquascape as the centerpiece of a room. Paintings and sculptures are still eye-catching, sure, but nothing short of an authentic Picaso will dominate a room quite like a healthy, vibrant aquascape. The Aqueous Art Movement proves that you can use water as your canvas and fish as your paints to create a truly breathtaking work of art.