Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Andy Goldsworthy - Rivers and Tides

Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her,
Alone, shall come fulfillment to our dreams
And our desires. Although she strews the leaves
- Wallace Stevens

Scottish sculpt
or Andy Goldsworthy, makes artwork outside. Sometimes permanent (like the wall depicted here), but often fleeting as he arranges leaves by color in pools of water, or freezes broken ice one piece to another till they are columns weaving in and out of a boulder.

There seems something valuable in putting great effort and investment into things purposefully temporary. Creating something that may be destroyed on its completion. How would your approach to it change? How would that variable of instability alter your perspective? What a worthwhile lesson in patience and motive.

Often, art is an effort to emulate nature. An apt tribute to turn to nature itself and manipulate native materials into sculpture in their own environment. Goldsworthy orchestrates new shapes and arranges new colors in harmony with their surroundings though they would not occur naturally in them.

The pictured work is Goldsworthy's commissioned piece installed outside Stanford University’s Cantor museum. A long stone wall starting like a fossilized spine in the ground and then descending, revealed by a hole that feels like might have been escavated around it. Called "stone river" the wall winds in ox bows till it dries up at the the other end.

The process of Goldsworthy’s work is best understood in the documentary about him: Rivers and Tides. Art is probably most powerful in person than art see on film. Ironic that the union of film and Goldsworthy’s often short lived work becomes one of the few ways to see it at all. Rivers and Tides is an inspiring product of this colaboration. Beautiful filmed, it quietly conveys the calm and commitment that is given over in creating each piece.

[mov] Stanford University - Stone River
[www] Thomas Riedelsheimer - Rivers and Tides


Blogger Grant said...

RAD. This movie was amazing. I saw it. It made me want to stack stones and rearrange sticks everywhere I go.

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