Deserts are some of the most forbidding and unforgiving places on earth, yet in our collective mythologies they are also thought of as places where a transcendent, mystical consciousness resides. Using the arid environment of the Sahara Desert as a blank canvas, the D.A.ST. Arteam (artist Danae Stratou, industrial designer Alexandra Stratou, and architect Stella Constantinides) created this breathtaking work of Land Art back in 1997, which can still be seen now (see Google Earth if you can't be there in person).
Titled Desert Breath and found via This Is Colossal, the artwork is located near the Red Sea in El Gouna, Egypt. The piece was an interdisciplinary collaboration that took over two years to complete, covering an approximate area of one million square feet and involved the shifting of 280,000 cubic feet of sand. A 98-foot artificial pool of water sits in the very center of the work, surrounded by double spirals of 178 sand mounds and depressions that mirror each other in volume.
The installation's cosmic, spiralling motif gives a clue to the work's message, says Wikipedia:
The artists have stated that the project was meant to suggest an experience of infinity with the desert as a landscape of the mind. Even though it is in a state of slow disintegration, Desert Breath is still viewable almost two decades after its creation. Through its slow disintegration, the installation has been seen as an instrument to measure the passage of time.
Timeless yet bound by time, this is a stunning example of Land Art that enchants the viewer and engages its environment. For more information, check out Danae Stratou's website; to see more environmental art, check out the related links to the left.