Friday, August 14, 2009

Andy Goldsworthy: Early Work

(Above) Stones sinking in sand
Morecambe Bay, Lancashire

March 1976

(Above) Stones sinking in sand (revisited)
Morecambe Bay, Lancashire

May 1976

(Above) Forked branch and stick
Ilkley, Yorkshire

September 1978
(Above) Elm leaves
Ilkley, Yorkshire

September 1978

(Above) Upright stones
Morecambe Bay, Lancashire

November 1978

(Above) Snow ball in trees
Clapham, Yorkshire
March 1979

(Above) Mud-edged trench
Bentham, Yorkshire

April 1979

(Above) Grass stalks
Bentham, Yorkshire
May 1979
(Above) Beech leaf covered in black mud
Bentham, Yorkshire

June 1979

MANY OF YOU HAVE SEEN THE WORK OF ANDY GOLDSWORTHY IN HIS BEAUTIFUL COFFEE TABLE BOOKS OR FILM DOCUMENTARIES. Fewer yet have had the pleasure of seeing an actual environmental work. I have only seen two. I have seen most of his art in books—and these have been Andy’s later, more substantial pieces. Of course, with the exception of pieces made through grants and built to be permanent, the majority of his art is designed to fall, break or decay through the natural forces of nature.

Imagine my delight when I stumbled upon an archive of Andy’s earliest attempts to define his art, dating as far back as 1976. I have already spent over an hour exploring his early work. And now, you can too.

From the web site:
The Andy Goldsworthy Digital Catalog is the result of a collaborative effort involving Andy Goldsworthy, The Crichton Foundation, and University of Glasgow’s Crichton Campus and Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII). The Digital Catalog constitutes a unique resource: comprising approximately 3,500 images, it documents the 2,700 or so sculptures that Goldsworthy made in the ten-year period 1976-1986, and gives unprecedented access to Goldsworthy's early working practices and contexts.

Project Brief

The project brief focused on Goldsworthy’s Slide Cabinet Index, and the considerable collection of slides and transparencies that document his ephemeral practice. Its aims were as follows:

  • Digitize the contents of the Slide Cabinet Index for the years 1976-1986 as a preservative measure
  • Digitize additional images from the wider collection of slides and transparencies relating to the Slide Cabinet, to further elucidate the making and context of those works
  • Catalog the date & location information noted in the Slide Cabinet, and to augment this with reference to Goldsworthy’s publications, and new material from his Sketchbook Diaries made available for the first time
  • Make the above available to scholars and researchers through the Crichton Campus, Dumfries.

It was decided to dedicate on the efforts of the project on the first ten years of Goldsworthy’s practice, insofar that material was deemed most vulnerable, and because it includes a significant proportion of early work not known or accessible to the research community. 1976-1986 brackets the period in which Goldsworthy established the principles of his practice. It is characterized by experimentation and exploration, and is prior to Goldsworthy’s gaining gallery representation in 1987.


Jan said...

This I have to check out - that could have been me at Morecambe Bay and it is as bleak as it looks !
Cheers John.

Anonymous said...

I really love art in and of nature. Thanks for posting this, and the link to the online catalogue.

(Also been enjoying your site since I came across it a few weeks ago.)


John Foster said...

Thanks Jennifer. I am very happy you like my blog... I try! :-)

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