Andy Goldsworthy is a renowned British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist, living and working in Scotland (in a village called Penpont). He was awarded with an OBE in 2000, “The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire”, an order of chivalry of British democracy, given for a wide range of useful activities. Learn more about the founder of modern rock balancing below, known best for his transient works.
Born and Education:
Andy Goldsworthy was born on 26 July 1956 in Cheshire, England. He acquired his education from Bradford College of Art (1974–1975) and Preston Polytechnic (now University of Central Lancashire) (1975–1978).
He was the son of F. Allin Goldsworthy, a former reputed professor of applied mathematics at the University of Leeds. He was just 13 when he started working at the farms as a laborer. He has linked the repetitive quality of farm tasks to the process of making sculptures by quoting, “a lot of my work is like picking potatoes; you have to get into the rhythm of it.”
Most of his work is produced using natural material like ice, mud, flowers, leaves, pebbles, pine cones etc. He quotes to “work with nature as a whole” and sometimes even doesn’t use man-made tools to create his sculptures. Rather, he uses his bare hands, teeth, etc.
His creations are majorly temporary and are shaped in open natural environments, allowed to decay with time (as made out of natural material). His photography series are also sometimes found to have been photographed around these creations in different conditions.
Photography plays a vital role in his art as “each work grows, stays, decays – integral parts of a cycle which the photograph shows at its heights, marking the moment when the work is most alive, there is intensity about a work at its peak that I hope is expressed in the image, process and decay are implicit”, quotes Goldsworthy.
But he has also created few permanent sculptures like “Roof”, “Stone River” and “Three Cairns”, “Moonlit Path” (Petworth, West Sussex, 2002) and “Chalk Stones” in the South Downs, near West Dean, West Sussex. His primary work however revolves around producing site-specific sculptures and land art situated in both natural and urban settings.
Andy Goldsworthy is the subject of a documentary feature film called “Rivers and Tides”, pictured in the year 2001 and directed by Thomas Riedelsheimer.
Goldsworthy also created an installation commissioned for the entry courtyard of San Francisco’s De Young Museum called “Drawn Stone”. It showcases San Francisco’s recurrent earthquakes and their effects. The installation describes as “a giant crack in the pavement that broke off into smaller cracks and broken limestone, which could be used for benches. The smaller cracks were made with a hammer adding unpredictability to the work as he created it”.
He married Judith Gregson in 1982 and had four children with her. Now, the couple has separated. He lives with his partner, Tina Fiske, an art historian. He is settled in the village of Penpont in the region of Dumfries and Galloway, Dumfriesshire, in southwest Scotland.
Andy Goldsworthy has produced several books containing photographs of his environmental art, including: Arch, Wood, Passage, Enclosure and Stone. A list of his books is below:
Andy Goldsworthy: sculpture 1976-1990
Midsummer Snowballs: 2001
North Uist Works: 2008
Besides OBE, he is also awarded with multiple other awards like the honorary degree from the University of Bradford in the year 1993. Other recognitions are:
1979 – North West Arts Award
1980 – Yorkshire Arts Award
1981 – Northern Arts Award
1982 – Northern Arts Award
1986 – Northern Arts Bursary
1987 – Scottish Arts Council Award
1989 – Northern Electricity Arts Award
2000 – Appointed officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE): already mentioned above