Andy Goldsworthy - Paper

Topics: Art, Meaning of life, Arts Pages: 5 (1767 words) Published: April 16, 2013
Final Paper
May 1, 2012
Andy Goldsworthy
Andy Goldsworthy was born in 1956 in Cheshire England. He was raised in Yorkshire England and attended both Bradford and Lancaster art college from 1974-1978("Andy Goldsworthy - Biography"). I was first introduced to this artist in class the other day when we watched his video “Rivers and Tides”. During the opening scene of the video Goldsworthy discussed a very unique obsession with the shape of winding rivers. The way that he talked about these rivers and their mere existence in nature was unlike anything I have ever encountered before…. I understand that the purpose of this writing assignment is to focus on one artist, and one single work of art the artist created. I regret to inform you that I have decided to stray from the guidelines you have provided for us in an attempt to challenge my own understanding of true art, and the beauty that is flushed through your body when you encounter it. I have struggled through most of the semester to connect with you and the other classmates while discussing art. It is not because I am an arrogant person; it is because I had to find my own meaning and place of belonging in the art world. I am a firm believer that until you make a true personal connection with art you can never gaze upon it the way that I saw you did every day. In order to become truly passionate about art, you have to grasp its concept and what it means to you and you alone. It took me a while to realize that what you are expected to think or know about a particular piece of art makes no difference. It is what you can pull together, understand, and make meaning of for yourself. Understanding and appreciating art goes very far past the physical world. I used to think that if I assimilated myself to merely looking at art and learning about its history and more technical features I would get it. I was terribly wrong; art goes far beyond the physical world.

Most artists talk about what drives them to create their masterpieces. They discuss their thought process going into actually constructing their finished product. Every artist we covered this semester seamed more passionate about their work then the next. At this point in the semester I found myself still struggling with the concept. A lot of the art that we looked at I didn’t appreciate because it wasn’t appealing to my eye. My mistake was that I was solely focusing on the finished product. To me, Andy Goldsworthy separated himself from all of the rest. In the video “Rivers and Tides”, Andy mentioned that when he left art school he could no longer bear to be within the confines of a studio. Andy then went on to say that most artists feel comfortable within a studio, and that is where they choose to create their best work. Goldsworthy has a completely different attitude when it comes to creating art. Artists enjoy painting inside because they can control their environment. Every stroke of the paint brush will be precise because there just simply aren’t any disruptions to cause the artist to make a mistake. When Goldsworthy left Lancaster Art College in 1978 he fled to the great outdoors where he fell in love with nature("Andy Goldsworthy - Biography"). There, he started to work instinctively with the world around him. Nothing is for certain outdoors when it comes to creating art. Instead of combating the elements, he embraces them. It is as if he and nature itself are working together in a symbiotic relationship in order to create his sculptures. I feel like Goldsworthy goes into his projects with no set intention to create anything specific, but let’s mother earth decide for him. In the video, Goldsworthy is walking through forests and rocks alongside the bank of a river. He said that he just walks and walks until something inside tells him to stop. I get the sense that he has absolutely no agenda, and is simply trying to collect with the beauty of nature in a spiritual way that goes beyond words. When he feels...

References: Andy Goldsworthy - Biography. (n.d.). University of Cincinnati, UC Blue Ash. Retrieved May 1, 2012, from
Andy Goldsworthy - Philosophy. (n.d.). University of Cincinnati, UC Blue Ash. Retrieved May 1, 2012, from
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