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A Natural Artist...
Andy Goldsworthy |
Andy Goldsworthy was born in
Cheshire in 1956 and was brought up
in Yorkshire. He studied at Bradford
College of Art (1974-75) and Preston
After leaving college Goldsworthy
lived in Yorkshire, Lancashire and
Cumbria. He moved over the border
to Langholm, Dumfriesshire, in 1985
and to Penpont one year later. This
gradual drift northwards was due to
a way of life over which he did not
have complete control. However,
contributing factors were
opportunities and desires to work in
these areas and reasons of economy.
Throughout his career most of
Goldsworthy's work has been made in
the open air, in places as diverse as
the Yorkshire Dales, the Lake District,
Grize Fiord in the Northern Territories
of Canada, the North Pole, Japan,
the Australian outback, St Louis,
Missouri and Dumfriesshire. The
materials he uses are those to hand in
the remote locations he visits: twigs,
leaves, stones, snow and ice, reeds
and thorns. Most works are
ephemeral but demonstrate, in their
short life, Goldsworthy's extraordinary
sense of play and of place. The works
are recorded as photographs. Book
publication is an important aspect of
Andy Goldsworthy's work: showing all
aspects of the production of a given
work, each publication is a work of
art in its own right.
Some recent sculpture has a more
permanent nature, being made in
stone and placed in locations far
from its point of origin, as for example
Herd of Arches 1994. The series of
chalk Arches made at Sculpture at
Goodwood in 1995 are
semi-permanent, given the fragility of
the material, and are now sited
indoors at Goldsworthy's studio in
Dumfriesshire, to extend their life.
After the rains...
When I'm working with materials it's not just the leaf or the
stone it's the processes that are behind them that are
important. That's what I'm trying to understand, not a single
isolated object, but nature as a whole.
I couldn't possibly try to improve on nature. I'm only trying to
understand it by an involvement in some of its processes....
Working with nature means working on nature's terms.
If you are anything like me, you see hundreds of photos every day. In fact, it is probably hard for any image to catch your eye, let alone your fancy. So when I found a book of nature photographs by Andy Goldsworthy I took note.
See for yourself how Andy Goldsworthy takes the simple building blocks of nature like leaves and twigs. By arranging them to emphasize the contrasting colors and textures, Goldsworthy points out things about the natural world that we might normally overlook.
These Rowan Leaves, for example:
Or these blue and red stones:
This photo is well known:
As a teenager, photographer and sculptor Andy Goldsworthy
worked as a hired hand on farms outside Leeds, England. It
was then that he began to explore the patterns of nature by
arranging its building blocks in unexpected ways. If you saw
these broken pebbles on the beach, you might not even notice
them, but Goldsworthy turns them into art.
Seeds and grass make this sculpture:
Or how about this Ice Star:
HIs latest project, Sheepfolds, will be the largest artwork ever to be commissioned in
Britain. It started in January, 1996. The project, partially funded by the National Lottery, will continue until the year
2000 as part of the Millennium celebrations and involves the commissioning of 100 works by the sculptor in
pinfolds, sheepfolds and washfolds in rural Cumbria.
Planned works range from the rebuilding and repairing of old folds on existing, derelict sites, to the construction of
new walls, installations and ephemeral works. Proposals include using water, slate, hedges, arches, balanced
works, tree-planting and the building of cairns. Works will also be developed about rainfall, wind direction,
sunlight and shadow. Other permanent works will explore the nature of light, weather and time.