One artists found a way to use the land and nature around him to create magical portals to another world.
Andy Goldsworthy is a British sculptor, renowned in his field, that creates temporary landscape art installations out of sticks and stones, and anything and everything else that he finds outside.
Most of Goldsworthy’s art is considered transient and ephemeral, causing people to perceive it as a criticism on the Earth’s fragility. However, for Goldsworthy, the meaning is more complicated.
“When I make something, in a field or street, it may vanish but it’s part of the history of those places,” he says in an interview.
An internationally renowned land artist, Goldsworthy was born in Cheshire in 1956. There are regular exhibitions of his work in Britain, France and the United States.
Although he travels all over the world to carry out commissions, the landscape around his home in Dumfries, south-west Scotland, remains at the heart of his work.
“In the early days my work was about collapse and decay. Now some of the changes that occur are too beautiful to be described as simply decay. At Folkestone I got up early one morning ahead of an incoming tide and covered a boulder in poppy petals. It was calm and the sea slowly and gently washed away the petals, stripping the boulder and creating splashes of red in the sea. The harbor from which many troops left for war was in the background.”
Andy Goldsworthy makes sculpture in the landscape using the materials of nature immediately to hand and the chance conditions of place, time, weather, season.
The now-familiar forms of his art – arches, circles, columns, domes, holes, lines, spheres, spirals, spires – are powerful expressions of the patterns and rhythms of growth. They are attempts to understand the purpose of sculpture and through it the purposes of nature itself.
Goldsworthy’s unusual practice has been to make each sculpture, which can vary in size from miniature to monumental, using only one kind of material and constructed during a brief time span, often within a single day. The work is then photographed before it naturally disintegrates.
Andy says, “I do not use glue or rope, preferring to explore the bonds and tensions that exist in nature. If I used glue I would forfeit the joy of discovering how materials join together by their own nature. The coloured leaf patches were discovered when I found one dark and one light leaf of the same size.”
“I tore the dark leaf in two, spat underneath it and pressed it on to the light leaf: the result was what appeared to be a single, tow-coloured leaf. Excited by this discovery, I went on to make yellow (Elm), green (Elm), orange (Beech), white (Sycamore) and red (Cherry) patches.”
What do you think of Goldsworthy’s artistic creations?