Monday, 19 July 2010


Andy Goldsworthy is an environmental sculptor in which his use of the natural surroundings create an art form. He explores and experiments with various natural materiel such as leaves, grasses, stones, wood, sand, clay, ice, and snow. The seasons and weather determine the materials and the subject matter of his projects. With no preconceived ideas about what he will create, Goldsworthy relies on what nature will give him. Goldsworthy "feels" the energy from nature and transcends that energy into an art form. His transient sculptures contradict the permanence of art in its historical pretense.

Because of this mortality of nature, Goldsworthy uses the photograph as a form of documentation to capture the essence of his work. "Each work grows, stays, decays- integral parts of a cycle which the photograph shows at its height, marking the moment when the work is most alive. There is an intensity about a work at its peak that I hope is expressed in the image. Process and decay are implicit."-Andy Goldsworthy.

His work resonates through what I am trying to achieve through my final semester project. His work is heavily influenced by natures very own strengths and weaknesses and he uses this energy to bring his art to life.

You can see some of his work below...

“Art for me is a form of nourishment,” he tells us. Goldsworthy seeks the “energy that is running through, flowing through the landscape.” Not to capture it, clearly, but to participate in it. He speaks slowly, carefully, and the viewer adjusts to his pace. Not a single abstract spiritual or philosophical term turns up – the sculptor employs direct and concrete words only – but the effect is like a 90-minute session with a Zen master showing us how to “be here, now.”On an icicle job, he notes that heat and melted water created his artistic medium, while the rising sun will destroy it: “the very thing that brought it to life, will bring about its death.” Flying to a commission in Nova Scotia, he says he hates the sensation of travel, and having to go straight to work without getting any time to get the feel of the new locale. Yet he does: “I’ve shook hands with the place . . . and begun.”As we watch the artist make “something from nothing,” usually something startling and gorgeous; as serendipity and the elements (sunshine, wind, water) contribute to the process; and even as pieces he has spent hours on collapse in a heap – one’s concept of what is possible, what constitutes art, becomes as fluid as Goldsworthy’s natural media. Initially the viewer automatically thinks, “oh, it fell apart,” then realizes it doesn’t matter. One feels disappointment a project did not meet one’s expectations, yet rejoices in a different, unforeseen result.

Having isolated pieces of a new environment and formed them into an unexpected artifact, then watched it dissipate back to its component parts in the larger setting, Goldsworthy says, “You feel as if you’ve touched the heart of the place. That’s a way of understanding. Seeing something that you never saw before, that was always there but you were blind to it.” As the tide carries his driftwood igloo out to sea, spinning it slowly and dismantling its structural unity, he remarks: “It feels as if it’s been taken off into another plane, another world. . . . It doesn’t feel at all like destruction.”

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