Andy Goldsworthy is a different kind of artist. He only uses natural materials like stone, wood, ice, mud, leaves, flower petals and (euuugh) even his own saliva. Plus, most of his art is temporary. He will spend hours, even days, created a sculpture like his seven-foot-long chain of red poppy petals only to let it disappear down a river bed.
Some people might think that’s a big ol’ waste of time, but his main themes are movement, change, light, growth, and decay, so destruction of his work as a key part of the process as well the art itself.
As he puts it, “The fact is that we live our lives on top of other people’s [lives]. That’s why I don’t like work that claims a place.” So how does a guy like that get famous? Well, he might make temporary art in often geographically isolated places like the North Pole and Nova Scotia, but he makes sure to photograph every piece, good or bad, so he can share his unique vision with the rest of the world.
Making Goldsworthy art is a challenge. Even Andy thinks so. “I think it’s incredibly brave to be working with flowers and leaves and petals. But I have to: I can’t edit the materials I work with. My remit is to work with nature as a whole.”
So why do it? Because it’s rewarding, and it’ll help you better understand and appreciate the natural world.
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