Friday, December 19, 2008

Sticks and stones

"When I make a work, I often take it to the very edge of its collapse, and that's a very beautiful balance...."

Realising that many friends are not familiar with the work of Andy Goldsworthy has prompted me to write a little more about him here. It's difficult though, because I find it almost impossible to articulate the beauty and sensuality of his work, or the intensity with which it can elicit emotional responses. His sculpture is a sensitive, intuitive response to nature, light, time, growth, the seasons and the earth.

Wikipedia offers a rather bland description of the artist, but I would heartily recommend reading some of his many books or watching the documentary Rivers and Tides, so that you may understand the story behind his pieces and the conditions under which they were made.

Goldsworthy's sculptures are created with natural materials, such as local rock, stone, leaves, sticks, or ice, and are often held together with thorns, sand, woven sticks or graduated sizes of the main material source. Many are ephemeral, designed to be washed or blown away by rain, wind, tides, or time. He uses extraordinary colour, pattern and textural combinations, seeking out the brightest leaves to contrast with surrounding natural elements, or blending tones with a subtlety and sensitivity that highlights and honours the complexity of natural forms.

An Amazon editor elaborates:

"Andy Goldsworthy is a particularly gentle and sensitive artist: he stitches together leaves to forms lines, often placed in water, or makes circular slabs of snow, or entwines twigs in an arc. He creates a delicate spiral of chestnut leaves, called Autumn Horn; he pins bright yellow dandelions on willowherb stalks in a circle, on bluebells; he makes lines and cairns, like Richard Long, of pebbles; he makes hollow, circular structures, like igloos, from slate, leaves, driftwood and bracken; he makes long wavy ridges in Arizonian desert sand; he makes arches, globes, hollow spheres, slabs, spires, spirals and star-shapes out of snow and ice.... The sculptures exude tranquillity, an early morning calm..."

I can't do justice to his work in a simple little blog post. Here are a couple of excerpts from the documentary to provide you with a glimpse:

Oh - I'm not sure how to embed a Googlevideo - click here for a lovely little Autumn piece.

More video snippets on YouTube
Andy Goldsworthy Digital Catalogue
General images of land art


Frosk said...

Hi Juddie!
I love Andy Goldsworthy's work too.
You might want to check Nils Udo's work that is quite similar and in a not so different way this video:


At the moment I'm writing my M.A. thesis about Andy Goldsworthy :o).
He's amazing!
Greetings from Poland :o)

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