Andy Goldsworthy Essay

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ANDY GOLDSWORTHY Andy Goldsworthy creates ephemeral artworks that challenge many assumptions on art. Goldsworthy works directly with nature in which he uses a variety of materials including leaves, twigs, flower petals, pinecones, sand, snow and stone. His work addresses issues of growth and decay, seasonal cycles, and the idea that an artwork too has a natural life that eventually must end. Goldsworthy deliberately explores the tension of working in the environment, with the intention not to “make his mark” on the landscape, but rather to work with it instinctively, so that a delicate scene of bamboo or massive snow rings or a circle of leaves floating in a pool create a new perception and an ever growing understanding of the land. There’s a real sense of uncertainty seen in Goldsworthy works, as he surrounds himself in the environment and has no control what so ever as to what happens, but attempts to break the boundaries and turn the uncertainty into a possibility. When he uses instruments, they are equally ‘found’ instruments, like the stick with which he scrapes the sand or the thorns with which he sticks the leaves together. More often, he lets nature work on its own, without the intervention of any instrument, as when he lets icicles freeze together or lets his clay dry in the sun. Andy Golsdworthy’s compositions are minimal. He replaces the chaos of leaves in the forest or pebbles on the beach with a progression from one colour to another, from light to dark, from big to small or sticks fallen at random on the ground with a circle, or a line. Goldsworthy says, "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 a transient process that I cannot understand unless my touch is also transient-only in this way can the cycle remain unbroken and the process be complete." Andy
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