Tuesday, December 28, 2010
These past few days my mind has been wandering aimlessly in something of a post-Christmas daze and I was beginning to feel guilty about my lack of meaningful concepts for future artworks. I definitely needed a jump start to get my creative vehicle moving forward. Fortunately, I was flipping through channels last night and stopped at the Knowledge Network to watch Rivers and Tides, a documentary (that feels more like an art film) about the awe-inspiring and often evanescent environmental sculptures created by British artist Andy Goldsworthy.
I'm embarrassed to admit I had zero knowledge of Goldsworthy until last night. In college I learned about Spiral Jetty and other earthworks by Robert Smithson and was impressed with the originality and scale of those works. Goldworthy's works tend to be less monumental, more ephemeral and decidedly delightful than Smithson's. I think Goldworthy's success is connected not only to his love of natural materials, but also to the fragile nature of his works; in the careful placement/balance of each and every leaf, stone, delicate bit of ice, or twig, and the intimate scale of his works. The simplistic appearance of Goldsworthy's works belie the complexities behind his concepts and the physical challenges involved in the resultant sculptures. If you get the chance to watch Rivers and Tides, don't miss it. You can view some highlights from the film here and here.
Watching the film brought me back to the sculpture classes I enjoyed in college and the joy of creating intriguing works from the simplest of materials. I think I'll revisit the lessons I learned and the outside-the-box thought processes I employed way back then. Thank you Mr. Goldsworthy!