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Soil in culture, history and art

Soil has been used by mankind throughout its history as a tool for self-expression. Cave paintings, one of the oldest art forms in existence, were created using soil, while nowadays soil is reflected across many art forms – videos, paintings, installations – even music and poetry. Soil has also been critical in shaping our national history and culture – from the colours and shapes of our landscapes to the raw material for our buildings and the varieties of food we grow from one region to the next.

To see examples of how soil has inspired the arts and influenced our history and culture over the years, click on the links below.

"We know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot"

Leonardo Da Vinci