Posts Tagged creativity

The Artistry of Andy Goldsworthy

My husband introduced me to Andy Goldsworthy, a British artist who makes the most amazing compositions within natural settings. In his biography the artist mentions his collaboration with nature to produce uniquely personal and intense artworks. This resonates when you see his work.

Like the sacred geometry of the nautilus shell, Goldsworthy blends his compositions seamlessly into the environment at the same time they emerge with rich contrast and pattern.

Using natural materials like snow, ice, leaves, bark, rock, clay, stones, feathers, petals, or twigs to form sculptures that manifest, however fleeting, a sympathetic contact with the natural world. His work is recorded in suburb color photographs as the pieces transition.

Deliberately exploring tension in his work, the artists makes his creations in the locale where he finds materials. He is undeterred by weather in the process of capturing the essence of collusion. Many of his works fail. The delicate structures crash from a wisp of wind, a sudden rainfall melts away a spectacular ice arch or washes out a frail web of grasses.

After viewing his art, it becomes apparent that Goldsworthy’s intent is not to “make his mark” on the landscape, but rather to work with it instinctively. I believe he succeeds.

He has this to say about the philosophy of how he approaches his work:

At its most successful, my ‘touch’ looks into the heart of nature; most days I don’t even get close. These things are all part of the transient process that I cannot understand unless my touch is also transient—only in this way can the cycle remain unbroken and the process complete. I cannot explain the importance to me of being part of the place, its seasons and changes… My approach to photograph is kept simple, almost routine. All work, good and bad, is documented. I use standard film, a standard lens and no filters. Process and decay are implicit.

 Like to see more of this artist’s work? Visit the Andy Goldsworthy Digital Catalog CD. The collection showcases his early work (1976-1986).

Browse his personal website for his perspective on the making of his art. There are numerous publications illustrating his photography, all of which are gorgeous coffee-table tomes.

I can even recommend a documentary of him at work on various projects, titled Rivers and Tides.

Does art spark your interest, make you want to explore ideas and mediums? Try making a composition out of what you find in your yard – be opportunistic! What makes you sit up and take notice? Art surrounds us – what’s hanging on your walls and sitting atop your tables?

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