If you’re taking a stroll through the English landscape…Andy Goldsworthy wants to stop you in your tracks.
He’s a British sculptor, photographer and committed environmentalist, and he likes arranging things. He turns random piles of stones into gravity-defying structures and scattered leaves into dazzling gradiated rainbows. He tracks lines and curves upon the ground where none should exist, stacks ice in the unlikeliest of places, and puts patterns and colors into the landscape that would make any onlooker rub their eyes. And the true magic of his work is that for a second – just for a second – you believe it’s the work of Nature. What would your first thought be if you encountered these in the wild?
“Everything has the energy of its making inside it.”
Goldsworthy’s tools of choice? Anything to hand (including his hands). In recent years he’s used power-tools for his trickier creations – and employed the help of experts such as dry stone wallers. Primarily, though, his real tools are gravity, wind, rain and the beautiful detritus of the natural world. And patience – lots of it.
“I can’t edit the materials I work with. My remit is to work with nature as a whole.”
And if you’re wondering what Goldsworthy’s view of his natural medium is? In a word – ambivalent.
“The landscape is often perceived as pastoral, pretty, beautiful – something to be enjoyed as a backdrop to your weekend before going back to the nitty-gritty of urban life. But anybody who works the land knows it’s not like that. Nature can be harsh – difficult and brutal, as well as beautiful.”
“A lot of my work is like picking potatoes…you have to get into the rhythm of it.”
Andy Goldsworthy‘s online catalogue preview , volume 1 (1976-1986).