Andy Goldsworthy: A Source of Inspiration

In preparation for my upcoming solo trip to Death Valley, I visited the local bookstore for some reading material.  A good book keeps my mind occupied, and helps pass the time between shots. I found the novel I was looking for, then browsed the Art and Photography section.

One book in particular was perched at precarious angle. While returning it to the shelf, I recognized the name on the book. It was titled “Time” by Andy Goldsworthy. Several years ago, I visited the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art to view Andy’s installation.

His work consists mostly of natural elements that are placed in a very structured manner.  Leaves, rocks, or other objects are arranged in prefect rectangles of bold color.  He also prefers to use serpentine lines, similar to a stream flowing through a wide flood channel. It is difficult to describe his work, but each piece is very unique.

From a photographic perspective, he documents the natural destruction of his work.  He leaves the camera in the same location, and takes a series of photographs as the leaves blow away, and the the natural world reclaims its resources.

I have tried in the past to stage scenes by arranging leaves, or other subjects.  However, I have not found these experiences to be productive.  My efforts have been to try and mimic the chaotic arrangement of nature.  Maybe the best approach is to take an inspired approach by Andy, and go with a heavy handed approach.  It certainly gives me something to think about.

Time: By Andy Goldsworthy

2 Responses to “Andy Goldsworthy: A Source of Inspiration”

  1. Don Ridgway & Pat Powers Says:

    We’ve loved Goldsworthy’s things for a long time, and can recommend the “Rivers and Tides” video to see how he does these astonishing constructions.

    We also enjoyed your recent Death Valley trip; lucky you to have been there in such unusual conditions. And now I feel bad about my 4×5 not having been out of its backpack for three years.

    I forwarded the link for the DV blog to a friend in the San Diego Sierra Club Photography Section, thinking they should see if you’d be willing to do a talk for them some time.

    Best of luck.
    (Pat knows your mom. And we live just down the street.)

  2. Ben Horne Says:

    Hey, great to hear from you! I think I might have seen the Rivers and Tides video, or at least parts of it. It sure is interesting how he documents the destruction of his work, and the return of the natural world.

    The terrific wildflower season this year might be a good opportunity to pull out your 4×5 camera. I’m looking forward to spending quite some time out at Anza Borrego getting some shots. It’s great to hear from other LF shooters, even if the camera hasn’t been out of the backpack for a few years. :-)

    I have spoken at some camera clubs, and teach some classes at the shop. That sort of stuff is right up my alley.

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