The Transitory Nature Of Beauty

by | Mar 31, 2005

Andy Goldsworthy is one of the UK’s best-known artists. His extraordinary sculptures are made from natural materials with the minimum of technological intervention; if a work can be made by hand then it will be. Normally situated outdoors, often in rugged and inaccessible terrain, the pieces are left to be gradually eroded by wind, rain and the heat of the sun. The only long-term records of Goldsworthy’s major sculptures are the images that the artist produces documenting the works’ creation and erosion.


Goldsworthy is interested in the ‘movement, light, growth and decay’ of nature. He exploits its vital impermanence: changes in season, weather and terrain. The materials of Goldsworthy’s work are in turn affected by change; he employs such transitory elements as leaves, wood, rock, ice, snow, peat and sand. By necessity, then, the majority of the sculptures must be completed and documented in one day as light and temperature would affect their very materiality, their existence.

Thanks to Eyestorm for the above text, and to Thomas Riedelsheimer for his documentary, Rivers And Tides, which introduced me to this environmental artist.