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Andy Goldsworthy

From Academic Kids

Andy Goldsworthy (born Cheshire, England, 1956) is a British artist and was a photographer living in Scotland who produces site specific sculpture and land art situated in natural settings. His art involves the use of natural and found objects to create temporary sculptural pieces which both appear naturalistic and create stark contrasts with their surroundings. He works closely with form and color contrasts to produce works that are both striking and ephemeral.

His media often include twigs, thorns, muds, snow, icicles, brightly colored flowers and leaves. For tools he often uses only his bare hands and found tools, although more recent works like the Moonlit Path and Chalk Stones (Petworth, West Sussex - 2002) have also used heavy machinery.

His work process is both obsessive and opportunistic. He is preoccupied with the inevitable destruction of his sculptures by elemental forces, as was highlighted in the Midsummer Snowballs (Midsummer's Day, 2000 - various locations in London, England) where the destruction of the piece was almost the whole point. He seems to prefer works that exist only extremely briefly or whose continued coherence is highly uncertain. Many of his pieces collapse during construction and he often rebuilds them several times before he is able to photograph them in completion.

The documentary movie Rivers and Tides (2001, by Thomas Riedelsheimer) shows his work in action and some of the pieces he has created.

WORKING WITH TIME is not only the subtitle to Riedelsheimer's film 'Rivers and Tides' but also describes the aim of many land art artists (for example Richard Long or Christo and Jeanne-Claude although they rather prefer not to be called 'land art') to show the process of nature and thus to work with time. Normally Andy Goldsworthy captures his works of art with photography, but the 2001 film 'Rivers And Tides' captures his understanding of nature and time better than the photography made by himself, because one is able to follow the process of creation and destruction. The film delivers the best insight in the way Goldsworthy works and finds his inspiration. 'I want to understand the stone' is a quote by him which inspired Riedelsheimer to make his film: It describes his ambitions to find the uttermost meaning behind every object in nature. Goldsworthy is very close to nature and he must be, because he has to understand nature. He is bound to nature, he is dependant on his understanding of nature if the wind changes, if the tide is getting high, if it starts to rain, his art changes sometimes it developes, sometimes it is destroyed.

Partial Bibliography

External links


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