Monday, April 5

Land Art

As creatives, much of our inspiration comes from our environment, whether that be urban, rural, college, the workplace, or the limitless expanse of our own minds. Interestingly, while our inspiration tends to come from our environments, our creative materials rarely do - we work on computers in the virtual realm, or with supplies we've had to order, import, or acquire through a myriad of means.

Less common is actually relying only on a single location's environment to provide the creative materials. In the case of land artist, Andy Goldsworthy, the landscape provides all of the required materials and often nothing is imported at all. As a result, though the landscape is often transformed (and then photographed) there's an oddly primitive sense to his work, like the ordering of edible plants into agricultural rows for farming.

The Neuberger Cairn, ©Andy Goldsworthy, 2001 SUNY Purchase

This intervention is a distinctly human behavior but because it is so rare for us to see "man-made" things that don't specifically rely on artificial materials, Andy's work seems like it simply belongs in its location. Many pieces take on an air of the supernatural.

©Andy Goldsworthy

Andy's work varies from the subtle to the spectacular, and from relatively permanent to fragile and ethereal. His most stable forms are stone cairns, often his most recognizable work. My impression has always been that his "sculpture" translates beautifully to his photography (as he is practiced in both) but that something is probably lost in the translation. It needs to be seen to be "believed." Nonetheless, I've collected some images from around the web to try capture some of his aesthetic. Enjoy.

Icicle Star, ©Andy Goldsworthy

Rowan Leaves and Hole, ©Andy Goldsworthy

Pebble Circle, ©Andy Goldsworthy

©Andy Goldsworthy

©Andy Goldsworthy

©Andy Goldsworthy

1 comment:

Sprout said...

I love Andy Goldsworthy! Wish I could create something like any of his work - dandelions, really! Saw the wall out out Storm King a couple summers back...sigh...

And when I was maybe in high school my mom took me to the Guggenheim there was a circle of stones filling the ground floor. I can't verify that it was Goldsworthy, but it sure feels like it must have been and it stuck with ever since.