Saturday, January 19, 2008

Viewing Andy Goldsworthy

..................Image: Pebble Circle by Andy Goldsworthy....................

Andy Goldsworthy is one of my favorite living artists. His medium is leaves, rocks, icicles, stones and all the bits of nature most people would leave alone or remove for non-artistic reasons. Where we would rake and bag our leaves, Goldsworthy would sort them by color and arrange them in a serpentine line. Looking at his art both lowers my blood pressure and fills me with awe.

The best way to dip into Goldsworthy's world is to watch the film Rivers and Tides: Working with Time, available at HCPL. There is also a short clip from the film available on YouTube. In Goldsworthy's playful, sometimes feverish search for materials and sites, we see a manchild possessed. The film presents many of his installations all over the world, including those at sites in France, Scotland, Nova Scotia and New York. Besides the stunning visual beauty he creates, I am intrigued by the ephemeralness of his creations. Icicle sculptures melt, leaves wash away, and rock cairns collapse. Time continues, the sea rushes in, and we are reminded just how transitory we really are. Through the medium of film, we are privileged to view Goldsworthy's creations before they go back to ground.

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