My intermediate mixed media students are launching into their last art project for the semester which involves creating a small scene or environment. Remember as a kid making those little dioramas for history class or the like? “Here is a scene of life in ancient Greece, complete with sheep and naked statuary.” “Here is a sculpture of the hanging gardens of Babylon, one of the wonders of the ancient world! Notice the cast resin water that looks so real.” (I actually did that one.) Nothing like cutting up styrofoam and going to town with plaster, glue, paint, and dried moss! Man, I’m sure I won something with that one in fifth grade. It was heavy.
Regardless, there are a number of artist today that are creating quite intriguing small environments that we’re looking at. I’d highly recommend that you check out Alan Wolfson’s interpretations of urban life: http://www.alanwolfson.net/ as well as the narrative puzzles of Thomas Doyle: http://www.thomasdoyle.net/ Their work makes me conclude that we are people in a complex world that is darn interesting to look at. Enjoy.