Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Andy Goldsworthy

Nature- Infinite source of inspiration.

Selected writtings from 'Andy Goldsworthy 1990'

For me, looking, touching, material, place and form are all inseparable from the resulting work. It is difficult to say where one stops and another begins. Place is found by walking, direction determined by weather and season. I take the opportunities each day offers: if it is snowing, I work with snow, at leaf fall it will be with leave; a blown over tree becomes a source of twigs and branches.

I stop at a place or pick up a material because I feel that there is something to be discovered. Here is where I can learn. I might have walked past or worked there many times. Some places I return to over and over again, going deeper- a relationship made in layers over a long time. Staying in one place makes me more aware of change. I might give up after a while. My perception of a place is often so frustratingly limited. The best of my work, sometimes the result of much struggle when made, appears so obvious that it is incredible that I didn't see it before. It was there all the time.

Movement, change, light, growth and decay are the lifeblood of nature, the energy that I try to tap through my work. I need the shock of touch, the resistance of place, materials and weather, the earth as my source. I want to get under the surface. When I work with a leaf, rock, stick, it is not just that material in itself, it is an opening into the processes of life within and around it. When I leave it these processes continue...........

Each work concentrates on a particular aspect of material and place. The grass stalk is hard, brittle,hollow and fractures at angles; the seed-head is supple, thin, whippy. It takes many works to come to some understanding of 'stalk', let alone 'grass', and the process never stops. Should I ignore the geometry in grass stalks fractured by the wind.

All forms are to be found in nature, and there are many qualities within any material. By exploring them I hope to understand the whole. My work needs to include the loose and disordered within the nature of material as well as the tight and regular.....

At its most successful, my 'touch' looks into the heart of nature; most days i don't even get close. These things are all part of a transient process that I cannot understand unless my touch is also transient- only in this way can the cycle remain unbroken and the process be complete. ....

Nature goes beyond what is called countryside-everything comes from the earth. My work made indoors or with urban and industrial materials is an attempt to discover nature in these things also. It is more difficult to find nature in materials so far removed from there source, and I cannot go for long before I need to work with the earth direct- hand to earth. What is important to me is that at the heart of whatever I do are a growing understanding and a sharpening perception of the land.

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