Working In Time Essay

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Rivers and Tides is a documentary about a man who submerges himself in the environment to tinker and build art from parts of nature. Andy Goldsworthy is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist that builds site-specific sculpture and land art situated in natural and urban settings. He lives and works in Scotland, but travels to various places for lectures and commissioned art. The materials used in Andy Goldsworthy's art often include brightly colored flowers, ice, leaves, mud, moss, snow, stone, sheep’s wool, twigs, and thorns. He tries to use nature as a whole and not edit the materials with man-made items. His art includes spiraled constructions from broken stones, leaves attached to float in the river, and oculi from sticks. He finds a way to arrange twigs as webs. He makes a spiral of rocks that fans out from a small base and then closes in again, a weight on top holding it together to finish as a stone egg.
As we watch him work, he enters a whole other world where he figures out how things are fitting together and how long it will last. He pushes limits until he feels a balance and that is how he knows it is done. With a lot of art people ask questions about method, but with Andy Goldsworthy no explanation is needed, because it is a common practice that he advanced in. When he works it is as if he is a child again, playing in the outdoors, but with a mature result.
In the documentary, as Goldsworthy worked on a piece of art, he allowed the viewers to see the failed trials and the progression of the project over time. Andy Goldsworthy’s art appears random and sporadic, because he has to work in time with his environment. After hours building an ice sculpture to look like a river, the sun rose and the pieces starting falling off. Many of his projects had to be restarted on a later day. The...

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