Learning About Creative Intent from Goldsworthy

Yesterday I discovered Andy Goldsworthy's work. He's amazing. I immediately thought, "I want to be like him!" Sculpture entered my mind yesterday because I was thinking of wanting to do something tactile aside from discovering my writer's voice. But I didn't want anything too complicated such that it required too many tools or other processes that required installation or electricity. I was thinking of junk art and sifted through some Youtube videos about this medium. However I'm no engineer and I'm not sure I can even think of anything relevant using junk right now. But I had an interesting time reading about Found Art and how it was started in the early 20th century by Marcel Duchamp. All this, it needs to be noted, has come from what I have absorbed during nightmorn conversations with Adi for the past 2 years.

The absence of time and opportunity to study art has been compensated by keeping in touch with her all this time and taking in her own musings about her academic journey.

I am enchanted with Goldsworthy's work because he uses the earth as his canvas. I watched an excerpt of his documentary "Rivers and Tides" in Youtube and found him so transparent and authentic. It sounded that his soul was walking outside of his skin when he explained what it is that he does.

Most of his work are made of earth elements. He enhances their aesthetic role in the general landscape of a place he visits. He works with his pieces with so much intimacy that I can almost feel his attachment to them by how he describes it. It is melancholy because his work is so transient that an unpredicted gust of wind can blow his art down. But this makes me think, why does he still keep doing it? What has he discovered by doing these things? What has he learned to see?

He talks about this piece found in his 1976 archives,

'This is a very physical piece. I had to move alot of stones in one day, between the tides. It wasn't even a full day. The line of stones physically effected the place and the people who walked along the beach. People had to step over it. A horseback rider jumped over it. I revisited it several times and saw it sink into the sand and disappear. I often think of it still being there, although I know it isn't intact.'

And he moves on to describing this piece again when he revisits in the transient time.

The physical nature of the piece and the changes that occured to it afterwards were far more interesting than the form, which here made more of an imprint on the landscape rather than something that is drawn out of it.

I find his observations of the changes very significant because he points out 2 things that really make sense to me right now. How he found something to create and how his creation has made a mark on the place he created it in. This is something that I want to be able to do. Not just with writing or any kind of art form. Art seems to just be the medium and not the end in itself.

These musings are taken from a lot of introspective time yesterday morning. One of the reasons why I have allowed myself to mull over these things is primarily to awaken my creativity and push it to the forefront. Doing the SNS Challenger project has already given me a kick in my momentum and I am quite challenged by responding to the experience a little bit more and seeing it evolve into something more than re-capturing 19th century photographs.

The ideas are still gestating somewhere inside my head. In parallel to that I am trying to awaken the innovative spirit of people in my team at work. Two separate activities. Different yet similar in so many ways. This hunger for creative experience is tantalizing. Almost like an obsession I have to capture. A mission I have to complete.


  1. hi Kathy. that was a beautiful post and Andy is one unique artist. his creations speak poetry. they may be ephemeral but their essence and the impressions they leave are something else. thanks for sharing this and introducing me to him. have a great week ahead!

  2. Hi there! You know, I never got your name. :) Anyway, yes he is definitely a unique one. I'm glad his artwork has moved you. Have a great week too!


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