His work uses natural and found objects to create sculpture that is said to draw out the character of the environment.
Some of Goldsworthy’s work is temporal—it disappears in a matter of hours or days—and other sturdy pieces are expected to remain for decades. Goldsworthy captures the work via photography to record its presence.
“Each work grows, stays, decays– integral parts of a cycle which the photograph shows at its heights, marking the moment when the work is most alive,” Goldsworthy has said of his work. “There is an intensity about a work at its peak that I hope is expressed in the image. Process and decay are implicit.”
His pieces have included brightly-colored flowers, icicles, leaves, mud, snow, twigs, thorns, etc., as well giant sandstone slabs used in the arch he completed at Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids in 2005.
Morenci art teacher Kym Ries last year assigned a Goldsworthy project. Students watched “Rivers and Tides”—a documentary about the artist—and considered Goldsworthy’s goals, how he shares his work with the public and what happens to his sculptures.
Over spring break students created their own Goldsworthy-inspired artwork. Photographic evidence of their finished pieces was sent to their teacher via e-mail while she was on vacation.