Thursday, April 05, 2007

Andy Goldsworthy Retrospective at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Stone Room
Yorkshire sandstone. Quarried by Johnson's Wellfield, Huddersfield.
Dry stone construction. Carved holes. 2007.

Andy Goldsworthy is a land artist. He uses natural materials to make environmentally responsible and sometimes ephemeral sculptures in the open air. A major retrospective exhibition of work by Andy Goldsworthy opened at Yorkshire Sculpture Park on 31st March and lasts until 6 January 2008. I'm hoping I can get to see this when I travel up to Yorkshire for the Art for UK Youth North exhibition later this month.

According to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park this is...
The largest and most ambitious project ever curated at YSP, featuring specially commissioned outdoor works, installations and never before seen archive material (YSP website)
I think Goldsworthy's work is some of the most intriguing and attractive sculpture I've ever seen. I particularly enjoy the fact that he works with natural materials from the locality in which his sculptures are located, develops organic shapes and has a very strong sense of place and heritage. They also have the most amazing shapes and patterns. It's no wonder he's an extremely popular contemporary artist.

Stacked Oak.
Branches left over from trees that were being felled locally.
Collected during the installation, supplied by Job Earnshaw and Bros Ltd. 2007.

If you'd like to know more about him and his work then you can
Also check out the photographs linked to the Technorati tag for Andy Goldsworthy at the end of this post.

Thames and Hudson have also published his new book, "Enclosure"
In 1995, the sculptor Andy Goldsworthy approached Cumbria County Council in northwest England with his idea of identifying a significant number of sheepfolds - stone enclosures used for assembling, sheltering and washing sheep - from old maps and reconstructing them to incorporate artworks or contain artworks. It was a long and fraught process, but by 2006, 35 folds had been completed and these form the core of Enclosure. Reflecting Goldsworthy's lifelong interest in the land, its history and its inhabitants, "Enclosure" is an exciting addition to the artist's highly successful series of books. (Amazon synopsis)
The body of work represented by the Sheepfolds project started in 1996. The drawings are fascinating. You can visit his sheepfolds in the fields where they are constructed - the details of each one and the journey are set out on the Sheepfolds website. This page lists which are the most accessible ones.

Hanging Trees. Oxley Bank.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park. 2006

Now I'm not normally somebody who makes a point of going to exhibitions about sculpture but I'll certainly going to be trying to get to this one. If you enjoy sculpture and you're able to get to Yorkshire I urge you to do so as this is certainly an important exhibition of the "you'll kick yourself if you miss it" variety. If you can't get there then do take a look at some of the links included in this post - I'm sure they will give you a whole new perspective in sculpture.

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is here south west of Wakefield, north of Barnsley and less than a mile from Junction 38 on the MI. So if you're travelling to see relatives this weekend try a diversion of a different nature!

[Note: I'd like to thank Jan Wells, Press and Marketing Manager of Yorkshire Sculpture Park for the photographs of Andy Goldsworthy's work - this is one of those occasions where pictures work much better than text! Please do not copy.]

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vivien said...

I agree - I like his work a lot. There are only a few conceptual artists who 'grab' me but he is one of them.

I like his work out in the landscape, where it fits into its environment.

Not keen on that first one at first glance but I like the second.

Ed Terpening said...

I too really love his work. His originality astounds me.

Co-incidentally I was looking for a spot to paint at nearby Stanford University. One of his below ground/submerged works are there. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a point of view that adequately represented it. Some day I'll try again.

Mary said...

There is something about earthy things that attracts me. The first one is monochromatic and simple but I believe that is it's beauty. Katherine, as usual your blog has a wealth of information. Thank you!

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