ANDY GOLDSWORTHY: RIVERS AND TIDES
Do you know his work? There are very few abstract artists I like, and even fewer conceptual artists. Conceptual art is a form of art where the idea is more important than the finished art itself. I would have originally categorized Goldsworthy in that group, but that isn’t a valid description. It is the process as well as the finished art that counts with his work. He works with natural materials, and usually natural tools. He works with ice, leaves, flowers, dirt, rocks, grasses, and his work is photographed as it is being created, when it is finished, and as it deteriorates. All of this is an essential part of the artwork. Amazingly beautiful work.
In the documentary film, Rivers and Tides, there is a scene where he is creating a screen of reeds held together with thorns, and hanging from a tree branch. He is on the home stretch when a slight breeze comes up the hillside. Goldsworthy holds up his hands to steady the screen, and just when it seems that everything might be okay, the whole thing collapses. He sits there for a few seconds with his eyes closed, he sighs, and then he picks up the reeds and begins again. I think the narrator says it is the third time that has happened on the project.
His work is very organic and rooted in the natural world, as is his approach to it. I want to try to develop the meditative quality he has to his art. Maybe you won’t hear me scream anymore when things go wrong.