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Introduction to Artist

Andy Goldsworthy

From his first experiences with nature as a young man to his professional career as a land artist Andy Goldsworthy has had a great impact on the art world and how we view the natural world around us.

Born in Cheshire, England in 1956. It is said that Andy Goldsworthy’s first experience with land art was when he was a young teenager and worked as a farm hand. He is quoted in saying, “Farming itself is a sculptural process, fields are ploughed, bales of hay are stacked, walls are built. The day is spent shaping and re-creating what is around you.” He continued his interest in art by studying at the Bradford College of Art and then onto the University of Central Lancashire. It was hard for him during his studies to be forced to stay indoors. His desire was to be outside viewing nature and producing his art. As is the story with many artists, his art did not become famous for a while after he finished his schooling.

His first well know work was called “Touching North” which consisted of a series of giant circle sculptures created at the North Pole. In this piece you can see his use of circles or holes that he wants you to look through and find meaning. You will notice this aspect in much of his later work.

He later completed works like the “Storm King Wall” an over 2,000 feet-long wall built by hand using no mortar. Located at the Storm King Art Center in Mountianville, New York. It’s important to note that just like the storm King wall uses no mortar the only materials the artist uses to attach his pieces are those found in the natural world were his sculptures are created.

Another of his sculptures is called “Ice Snake” This sculpture is an example of some of his temporary sculpting technique. Because his work is often temporary he takes pictures of his work, which he sells to galleries and collectors. As you can see in the picture of “Ice Snake”, Goldsworthy has simply scraped off a thin layer of ice from a frozen river creating a unique design. All of the objects that he uses are found in nature and he celebrates in the idea that his pieces will only last for a short while they are part of the flow and cycle of nature effected by the weather and season.

Andy Goldsworthy is currently a professor at Cornell University but he continues to create his natural sculptures all over the world. Still a lot of his pieces are never seen in person because almost as soon as they are finished they are blown away, melted, or drift away in the tide. Yet he succeeds in his objective to include his unique mark along with everyone else in the history of the ever-changing natural world that we are a part of.