Rivers and Tides – Andy Goldsworthy
Andy Goldsworthy is a is a British sculptor, photographer, and environmentalist producing site-specific sculptures and land art situated in natural and urban settings. He lives and works in Scotland.
Andy Goldsworthy is the subject of a 2001 documentary feature film called Rivers and Tides, directed by Thomas Riedelsheimer with music was composed and performed by Fred Frith. In this spellbinding film, Andy Goldsworthy makes mesmerizing sculptures entirely out of objects he finds in nature — stones, twigs, clay, ice, snow, leaves, plant stalks, thorns, bark, grass, and pine cones.
The film received a number of awards, including the ‘Best Documentary’ awards of the San Diego Film Critics Society and the San Francisco Film Critics Circle.
Goldsworthy studied at Bradford School of Art and Preston Polytechnic and has been making art in the environment, both rural and urban, since the mid-1970s. Over the past 25 years, Andy has gained a significant reputation for both his ephemeral works and his ephemeral installations that draw out the endemic character of a place.
“Art for me is a form of nourishment,” he tells us. Goldsworthy seeks the “energy that is running through, flowing through the landscape.”
Goldsworthy has won many awards for his work, including the Yorkshire Arts Award and the Scottish Arts Council Award and he was given an OBE in 2000.
According to Goldsworthy, we must re-examine the mundane in order to break through our habitual and clichéd perceptions.
The film devotes almost as much time to the death of Goldsworthy’s art as it does to its birth.
Goldsworthy’s art encompasses both ephemeral and permanent characteristics of change and is known for working in unfavorable weather conditions. Goldsworthy’s work deviates from traditional sculptors by waiting for snow, rain, and seasonal change. Goldsworthy states:
I have become aware of how nature is in a state of change and how that change is the key to understanding. I want my art to be sensitive and alert to changes in material, season and weather. Often I can only follow a train of thought while a particular weather condition persists. When a change comes, the idea must alter or it will, and often does, fail. I am sometimes left stranded by a change in the weather with half-understood feelings that have to travel with me until conditions are right for them to reappear.
During one persistently cold period that I have had to work with in Britain, I was able to pursue ideas only hinted at in previous winters. It is difficult to predict where good ice and icicles will form. When the cold arrived, that is where I went–disappointed at first because it was too sheltered by overhanging trees. One small pool was barely frozen. I used this precious ice–the work was not good, but it gave me a feel for the place.
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