Saturday, August 19, 2006
Andy Goldsworthy, Nature, and Time
About three years ago, when I was finishing up my art degree, I took a sculpture class with Kyle Dillehay (who is definitely a very cool professor). He introduced our class to the work of Andy Goldsworthy, a truly intriguing artist.
Goldsworthy's work doesn't follow the usual course of things. He works with found natural materials, creating ephemeral works which are nevertheless breathtaking. They can be as small as a single stone, covered with petals, or a massive cairn constructed of stone. Some last only minutes; others withstand years of exposure to the elements.
I'm not entirely sure why his work so appeals to me. I love being outside, so I'm sure that's part of it. I just love God's creation; it reminds me of just how awesome He is, how far beyond us, and how blessed I am that He loves me. For me, the creative use of God's creation is truly inspiring, in a way nothing else can ever be.
The simplicity of the design is also appealing. Many of his pieces employ very basic techniques, such as stringing together leaves, sculpting sand, or stacking stones. It makes the work seem so approachable, inspiring an "I can do that!" response. I'm inspired to go outside and play, just to see what I can come up with.
But despite the simple forms, Andy Goldsworthy is a true master of design. "Simple" can mean many things; simplicity of form is not the same as "easy!" The example here uses only colored leaves, arranged in that most basic of forms, a circle. When there is so little to work with, real mastery of the principles of art is essential to create something so stunning.