We often forget that WE ARE NATURE. Nature is not something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we’ve lost our connection to ourselves.— Andy Goldsworthy
The most sublime Andy Goldsworthy quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain
There is life in a stone. Any stone that sits in a field or lies on a beach takes on the memory of that place. You can feel that stones have witnessed so many things.
In contact with materials, I can see so much more with my hands than I can just with my eyes. I'm a participant, not a spectator. I see myself both as an object and a material, and the human presence is really important to the landscapes in which I work.
Snow provokes responses that reach right back to childhood.
We often forget that we are nature. Nature is not something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we have lost our connection to ourselves.
The underlying tension of a lot of my art is to try and look through the surface appearance of things. Inevitably, one way of getting beneath the surface is to introduce a hole, a window into what lies below.
I think that any sculpture is a response to its environment.
It can be brought to life or put to sleep by the environment.
As with all my work, whether it's a leaf on a rock or ice on a rock, I'm trying to get beneath the surface appearance of things. Working the surface of a stone is an attempt to understand the internal energy of the stone.
A snowball is simple, direct and familiar to most of us.
I use this simplicity as a container for feelings and ideas that function on many levels.
I want to get under the surface. When I work with a leaf, rock, stick, it is not just that material in itself, it is an opening into the processes of life within and around it. When I leave it, these processes continue.
It takes between three and six hours to make each snowball, depending on snow quality. Wet snow is quick to work with but also quick to thaw, which can lead to a tense journey to the cold store.
The first snowball I froze was put in my mother's deep freeze when I was in my early 20s.
If I had to describe my work in one word, that word would be time.
Movement, change, light, growth, and decay are the life-blood of nature, the energies that I try to tap through my work.
I'm cautious about using fire. It can become theatrical. I am interested in the heat, not the flames.
My art is an attempt to reach beyond the surface appearance.
I want to see growth in wood, time in stone, nature in a city, and I do not mean its parks but a deeper understanding that a city is nature too-the ground upon which it is built, the stone with which it is made.
Even in winter an isolated patch of snow has a special quality.
People are the nature of the city, and you can feel it in the pavement.
I've laid down in dried up streambeds, leaving a shadow.
And then, five minutes later, it's flash flooded, and where I once laid is now running water, which would've washed me away, you know? There's that power and danger often in places that look so calm and pastoral to begin with.
The main reason I went to digital was because I got time-lapse, video, and still images all in one camera. Having a minimal amount of gear is really important for someone who wants to walk around. That allowed me to have this flexibility to document things in different ways.
I think I have been fashioned by the fickle weather of Britain that it is - it's forever changing. There's no kind of constant sun or dry weather or freezing weather, and I'm always having to change and adapt to that.
I knew the tree when it grew, and the tree is now gone.
The farmers cut it up, and it's become firewood. And there's this tremendous sense of absence and shock and violence attendant to that collapsing tree.
There's a huge number of things that are occurring with the ice works which fascinate me enormously, but it's driven by this kind of frantic race against time. And whilst that creates a huge amount of tension and problems, it's a tension that I think I feed off.
I'm dealing with the most important things there are: life and nature.
If this doesn't work, if this doesn't sustain me, I can't go back to nature. I'm right there. There's nowhere to go, and that frightens me.
Art is not a career - it's a life.
Understanding the materials I work with.
.. gives me a deeper understanding of my place. And it's helped me make sense of the changes that are happening to me as I grow older.
Some of the snowballs have a kind of animal energy.
Not just because of the materials inside them, but in the way that they appear caged, captured.
Occasionally I have come across a last patch of snow on top of a mountain in late May or June. There's something very powerful about finding snow in summer.
The difference between a theatre with and without an audience is enormous.
There is a palpable, critical energy created by the presence of the audience.
Stones are checked every so often to see if any have split or at worst exploded.
An explosion can leave debris in the elements so the firing has to be abandoned.
Confrontation is something that I accept as part of the project though not its purpose.
The hardened mass of liquid stones had much stronger qualities than those which had simply torn. The skin remained a recognisable part of the molten stone.
Fire is the origin of stone.By working the stone with heat, I am returning it to its source.
Three or four stones in one firing will all react differently.
I try to achieve a balance between those that haven't progressed enough and those about to go too far.
The reason why the stone is red is its iron content, which is also why our blood is red.
Abandoning the project was incredibly stressful after having gone through the process of building the room, installing the kiln, collecting the stones, sitting with the kiln day and night as it came to temperature, experiencing the failures.
I see my work plagiarized in gardening programmes and decorating programmes and car adverts, and I suppose I have to accept that's just the way art gets assimilated into culture.
A lot of my work is like picking potatoes;
you have to get into the rhythm of it. It is different than patience. It is not thinking. It is working with the rhythm.
The stones tear like flesh, rather than breaking.
Although what happens is violent, it is a violence that is in stone. A tear is more unnerving than a break.
As you grow older you realize that art has an enormous effect.
It's frightening sometimes to think of the effect that we can have.
Ephemeral work made outside, for and about a day, lies at the core of my art and its making must be kept private.
A stone is ingrained with geological and historical memories.
The photography is not the aim of the work;
the articulation of the work through photography is another way of understanding what's going on and what's happening outside.
Once the fired stone is out of the kiln, it is still possible to mentally reconstruct it in its original form.
If you repeat something, it can become pointless.
Some things can repeat and be endlessly fascinating.
The relationship between the public and the artist is complex and difficult to explain. There is a fine line between using this critical energy creatively and pandering to it.
I think that I'm always trying to get beyond the surface appearance of things, to go beyond what I can just see.
People also leave presence in a place even when they are no longer there.
I did tests on small stones before collecting and committing myself to the larger ones.