At a recent visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla, I found myself especially intrigued by this:
The piece is part of a work of art called “Three Cairns” by British sculptor and environmentalist Andrew Goldsworthy. It’s part of a nationwide project, Goldsworthy’s largest in the west Hemisphere. This LJ cairn, along with its sister cairns in Iowa and New York, are made of stones and aim to explore how the environment works on the materials over time.
Born and raised on a farm in West Yorkshire, Andy Goldsworthy developed a special bond with nature. He studied fine art in Lancashire and received his B.A. Since 1978 he has been creating site specific sculpture and land art pieces that he considers collaborations with nature, utilizing natural materials such as flowers, twigs, thorns, icicles, etc, inspired by his observations of the natural world. What’s more, he uses only his hands, feet, and found tools to create his installments. He aims not to alter the materials he works with, but rather “to work with nature as a whole.” He refers to his sculptures as “earthworks” and intentionally constructs the pieces to be mutable and impermanent, existing within the natural cycles of the environment.
If you’re interested in the life, work, or philosophy of Andy Goldsworthy, you can check out a full length documentary, Rivers and Tides, or visit his website. In the meantime, here are some more of his earthworks: