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Andy Goldsworthy (1956)

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Andy Goldsworthy, British sculptor, photographer, environmentalist,  seems like a perfect choice for his personal quest is to be intimate and create with Nature. What flows through him, flows through the landscape and his goal is to feel, experience,  understand,  and then to create with this energy.

In his collaborations with nature, Andy works with whatever comes to hand: twigs, leaves, stones, snow and ice, reeds and thorns, creating site-specific installations, exploring the very essences of these materials.  In his process, he first must become attuned to his environment mentally, physically, and emotionally.  He listens, he observes, and then when he seems to be drawn to the way the materials express themselves he creates.  He takes these very materials and reweaves them back into the environment in a deliberate manner then lets the effects of the natural conditions have their way with them.  For example, near a stream, he sews together leaves with pine needles and allows the current to carry them as if it were a new inhabitant making its way in the flow.  Another example he creates a structure from sandstone or shale at the sea’s edge then observes how the tide interacts with it, carries it away, melts it, or simply flows over it.  In this manner, he is exploring change, transformation, mutability, permeability, the unknown and impermanence.

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As an audience, we feel the sense of birth, life and death with great anticipation and curiosity and a sense of triumph.  Andy will photograph his process and this is mainly the only means he has to show that he actually created and collaborated with nature.  There are exceptions such as rock walls he constructs but even they will not stay as he created them.  So, the photographing of his installations tell the story, a small drama as it were.  And he is always uncertain of the exact metamorphoses of his pieces.  On film he captures the infancy stages of creating them, the majestic full bloom of the mature piece, and then the decline and demise that comes with time.

His works of our art are not for eternity, but because he documents them extremely well, video’s and photographs remain and are proof that at one time the work existed and amazed those who saw it in reality. www.ftn-books.com has the much sought Staatsbosbeheer publication for sale.

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