Andy Goldsworthy creates artworks in interplay with natural materials and the natural environment. Art and nature are in harmony with each other. In doing so, he tries to show and honor the beauty and complexity of nature and remind us of life.
In an intuitive way, British artist Andy Goldsworthy carefully explores nature and landscape, trying to understand them.
He often works in remote areas that allow him to perceive and observe in a different way natural materials such as stones, leaves, twigs and ice. He also takes into account the natural materials and their properties, such as weight, texture, color and shape. But he also accurately captures the behavior, forms of existence and details of the various materials and elements therein.
Andy uses this knowledge to create art objects and to integrate the natural properties of the materials. In this way, he works intuitively with and in nature.
Through this careful consideration and exploration of the environment and natural materials, he ultimately creates objects that fit and integrate seamlessly into the space. They are in complete harmony and unison in form, material and location.
"Drawing Mole hills" (2023)
Most of his artworks are ephemeral and are altered or destroyed by nature over time. Goldsworthy sees this as part of the process of creation. The transience of his art products is a reminder of the transience of life and nature.
Goldworthy's photographic documentation, however, allows for enduring contemplation. This play between transience and permanence, moreover, is meant to show how his artworks change or decay over time.
"Two Lines made with wool" (2023)
Goldsworthy's works in the form of photographs are exhibited worldwide. He has also published several books about his art and his working methods.
He is known for his ability to show and honor the beauty and complexity of nature in unusual and impressive ways.
Andy's artistic approach
Andy's artworks are therefore not only fascinating from the outside, but impress even more when you understand better and deeper his perception of and his way of working with nature:
Contextual reference: the artist takes into account the environment, landscape, architecture for harmonious artworks that fit in.
Empathy with the environment: precisely Goldsworthy explores the natural environment, usually remote natural places. He connects with the environment, carefully observes natural changes such as light, water, weather, and intuitively uses these observations in his art.
Natural materials and understanding of materials: Goldsworthy knows materials inside out, skillfully uses their behavior in design considering their properties such as weight, texture, color. Works of art should match nature.
Detail orientation: small details such as textures of leaves or stones, integrates them into his work.
Transience: his artworks are ephemeral and are changed by nature. This symbolizes acceptance of transience in life.
Documentation: Goldsworthy documents his work photographically to record changes over time.
More visual impressions
Split Oak Wood (2023)
from top to bottom: "Hawthorn Tree Snowball," (2001), Tapping (2023), "Calm" (1988)
Recommended films to watch
Andy Goldsworthy - Earth Artist and his Process
short documentary (8:39 min) about Andy
Rivers and Tides. Andy Goldsworthy working with time. (2001)
90-minute documentary film about the British land artist
Have you ever tried your hand at land art?
How did you feel connected to nature? How did you observe yourself doing it? What unfolded inside of you?
Bergeron Chris (2011): DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum plans Andy Goldsworthy sculpture project. Metro West Daily News.https://eu.metrowestdailynews.com/story/entertainment/arts/2011/06/30/decordova-sculpture-park-museum-plans/37903575007/ (accessed at: 14.08.2023)
Goldsworthy Andy (2023): Official Website. https://andygoldsworthystudio.com (accessed at: 14.08.2023)
Goldsworthy Andy (2012) Rivers and Tides. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7sZv4_0Fxg&embeds_referring_euri=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.notion.so%2F&source_ve_path=MjM4NTE&feature=emb_title (accessed at: 25.06.2023)
Magnolia Pictures & Magnet Releasing (2018): Leaning into the wind. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=BQYGbfVfpm0&embeds_referring_euri=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.notion.so%2F&source_ve_path=Mjg2NjQsMjM4NTE&feature=emb_title (accessed at: 25.06.2023)
Orr Gillian (2015): Andy Goldsworthy's Ephemeral Works: Artwork that is a testament to passing time. Independent. https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/andy-goldsworthy-s-ephemeral-works-artwork-that-is-a-testament-to-passing-time-a6694826.html (accessed at: 14.08.2023)
Rodgers Bill (2014): A First Look at the new Andy Goldsworthy Installation. Cfile Capsule https://cfileonline.org/public-art-first-look-new-andy-goldsworthy-installation/ (accessed at: 14.08.2023)
Sylvia (2012): Andy Goldsworthy: Die Schönheit vor dem Kollaps. Meise-und-Meise-Blog https://meiseundmeise-blog.de/2012/07/09/andy-goldsworthy-die-schonheit-vor-dem-kollaps/ (accessed at: 14.08.2023)