Thursday, September 22, 2011

Andy Goldsworthy...Art for the Changing Seasons

There is something about autumn that turns us all into gatherers, especially children.  Buckeyes and acorns, leaves of every color, mysterious feathers.  There are treasures galore when the trees and plants begin to unburden themselves.  Unfortunately, most of these treasures are ephemeral.  Whether they crumble or mold they are not the stuff of traditional art or craft projects.

They are the wonderful stuff of "Land Art," though.  British sculptor, Andy Goldsworthy, is one of the best known artists associated with Land Art.  Working in remote, isolated spots and using only the natural materials found in the vicinity (leaves, stones, flowers, icicles, etc ) he creates ephemeral sculptures that may melt, topple over, or be blown away at any moment.  Goldsworthy captures his finished work in photographs before nature takes its course.

Visit the art section of your library or bookstore and find his book "Wood."  Goldsworthy visits the same oak tree at Capenoch and records the tree's changing seasonal aspects through many sculptures.

Then head outside to create your own Land Art.  Children can stack stones, create paths, layer and braid leaves into shapes, or build house or nest-like structures with sticks.  Instead of getting frustrated by a sudden breeze or other mishap, encourage them to see this as part of the process.  Keep your camera on hand to capture the perfect "finished" moment...and maybe some of the steps in between.

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