Andy Goldsworthy

Fine artist, sculptor, photographer and environmentalist, Andy Goldsworthy, studied at Bradford College of Art from 1974 to 1975.

Andy GoldsworthyAttending the Foundation course in Art and Design, Andy developed his skills in drawing and sculpture enabling him to progress to Preston Polytechnic. Andy has become an internationally acclaimed sculptor, photographer and environmentalist, his objective being to work with nature as a whole. “I have become aware of how nature is in a state of change and how that change is the key to understanding. I want my art to be sensitive and alert to changes in material, season and weather.”

Most of the work has been made in the open air, in places as diverse as the Yorkshire Dales, the Lake District, Canada, the North Pole, Japan, the Australian outback, St Louis, Missouri and at his home in Dumfriesshire. His raw material is natural and found objects, creating both temporary and permanent sculptures which draw out the character of their environment. Sandstone, slate, twigs, flowers pebbles, dung are all examples of natural found objects used to create ephemeral pieces, sometimes only recorded by photograph.

“When I regularly began to make work outdoors, during the first year of my degree at Lancaster, I realized very quickly that the studio is such a dead space…..It was difficult to get some motivation, to know why I was working there.” Photography plays a crucial role in his art showing the work at its heights, marking the moment when the work is most alive. “I document what I have made with notes, drawings and photographs. For me the photograph is a memory which evokes the experience of making and of being outside.”

Andy has kept close links with Bradford College particularly with tutors on the current Foundation in Art and Design course. He recalls “there was always an energy around Bradford at the time I went to the Art College. It wasn’t something that I have really been able to put into words - I am still in touch with Ian Taylor there, and should talk with him about it. In lectures, we were shown performance, happenings, and examples of American land art. I remember one lecture consisted of a performing fire eater. I now realise that some lecturers were directly involved in performance work at that time, of which Albert Hunt was a driving force.”

More recently Andy has had huge success with his exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park just outside Wakefield. This extraordinary exhibition brought together an amazing range of work for both the landscape and the galleries within the park. It included new permanent outdoor commissions and much of the work was put in context by photographic archive material from the artist’s career. During the installation Andy sought the help of friend and Bradford College Lecturer, Ian Taylor, who enlisted the help of students on the Foundation Art & Design course to assist Andy.

Andy has exhibited widely both at home and abroad, published many beautiful books documenting his work and received many accolades including a Honorary Degree from University of Bradford in 1993 and in 2000 an OBE.

Special thanks to Andy Goldsworthy and Tina Fiske.
Photography by Raul Lorenzo.