Monday, March 23, 2009


Andy Goldsworthy is an artist, photographer and sculptor who creates sculptures from organic found objects such as leaves,snow, rock and twigs. He is also an extremely talented rock balancing artist. Rock Balancing is literally the art of placing a combination of rock/stone in an arrangement which would naturally be impossible.

His work is situated in both rural and urban settings. He considers his creations transient and after creating a piece he photographs it. "My sculpture can last for days or a few seconds — what is important to me is the experience of making. I leave all my work outside and often return to watch it decay. "

His work could be placed under the genre of 'Land Art' , which is an art movement that emerged in the America in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In land art the landscape and the work of art are linked. In most cases the landscape itself is the catalyst of a piece and provides the materials for an artist to work with. Art in this area is usually out in the open and as a result will be changed, shaped, destroyed or eroded by wind, rain, sun and frost.

For some work, he uses his bare hands, teeth, and found tools to prepare and arrange the materials such as twigs, stone, leaves and flowers. He doesn't use glue to hold pieces together, he utalizes ice or mud instead. For his permanent sculptures like "Roof", "Stone River" and "Three Cairns" he has also used machine tools. To create the piece "Roof" (Top image), Goldsworthy worked with a number of dry-stone wallers to make ensure it was structurally sound and would withstand time and nature.

The videos below are excerpts from a film called Andy Goldsworthy's River and Tides. The first and third are a mix. The second shows him speaking and working on a intricate piece that ultimately falls apart. Although his photographic images are beautiful, watching him in action adds a different dimension to his work and brilliantly shows the detail that's involved. It allows you to gain some insight into his inspiration and reasons for creating art, his wonderful lack of pretension and the patience needed. I like his work as it's art that's meant to be enjoyed and not over analysed.

Top Image via:

Other Images: copyright © Andy Goldsworthy


Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of AG's work - have seen the movie too. Isn't it great?

Green of Eye, Sharp of Claw said...

@NM: I really hope our paths cross at some point as you and i seem to have similar taste in art! :)

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