Goldsworthy And Koons: Sculpture And Senses

850 words - 3 pages

Goldsworthy provokes the audience to “look beneath the surface of things” by exploring his connection with the environment using materials from nature to convey his ideas. The earth artist utilises found tools and objects from the natural world to execute his ideas and intentions. He incorporates the “lifeblood of nature” through the notions of movement, change, light, growth, and decay. The sculpture, Rowan Leaves and Hole offers an insight into the beauty of nature encapsulated by fragile leaves, and the strong gradation of colour that depicts notions of growth and decay. The black hole, a significant motif of his work, manipulates one’s perception of nature by introducing a metaphoric window into the energies trapped below its surface. Throughout his artmaking he believes to understand nature, one must physically experience its tactile, visual, and eternal energies. This results in a somewhat primitive approach towards artmaking reflecting his sympathetic contact with the natural world and personal belief to make no permanent mark on the land. The transitory nature of Goldsworthy’s artmaking challenges the concept of the art object. The only evidence of his artmaking, captured using photographic documentation, cannot replace the physical beauty and the energies of the artwork that once existed. Therefore, Goldsworthy’s use of materials and techniques convey an insight into his artmaking connection with the environment.

Similarly, Goldsworthy conveys the lifeblood of nature through his unconventional use of materials and techniques. Goldsworthy seeks to understand nature by direct participation. He uses natural resources as his tools and mediums to produce his works, e.g. stones, leafs, feathers and thorns. This relationship with nature develops his understanding of how to manipulate materials to respond to his artmaking. His ice sculpture Snow Circles uses the medium if ice to embrace the fragility and transience of nature. Throughout his sculptures he juxtaposes the solid or rough with the delicate or transparent to draw attention to our perception of objects in nature. The repetition cut away circles in Snow Circles creates a vortex that combined with light illuminate the ice to encourage a deeper appreciation of the inherent beauty of nature. The beauty of decay, represented by the inevitable melting of Snow Circles, reflects Goldsworthy’s close connection with the hidden energies of nature, “My sculpture can last for days, or a few seconds – what is important to me is the experience of making. I leave my work outside and often return to watch it decay.” The scale and media of Goldsworthy’s works are spontaneous and determined by materials found on site. His response the natural environment further highlights the connection he shares with the...

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