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Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy
Andy Goldsworthy in 2005
Born (1956-07-26) 26 July 1956
Cheshire, England
Nationality British
Education Bradford College of Art (1974–1975); Preston Polytechnic (now University of Central Lancashire) (1975–1978)
Known for Sculpture; photography
Movement Environmental art and land art
Awards Scottish Arts Council Award (1987); honorary degree from the University of Bradford (1993); OBE (2000)

Andy Goldsworthy, OBE (born 26 July 1956) is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist producing site-specific sculpture and land art situated in natural and urban settings. He lives and works in Scotland.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
    • Art process 2.1
  • Personal life 3
  • Awards 4
  • Exhibitions and installations 5
  • Publications 6
  • See also 7
  • Notes 8
  • References 9
  • Further information 10
  • External links 11

Early life

The son of F. Allin Goldsworthy (1929–2001), former professor of applied mathematics at the University of Leeds, Andy Goldsworthy was born in Cheshire[1] and grew up on the Harrogate side of Leeds, West Yorkshire, in a house edging the green belt. From the age of 13 he worked on farms as a labourer. He has likened the repetitive quality of farm tasks to the routine of making sculpture: "A lot of my work is like picking potatoes; you have to get into the rhythm of it."[2]

Goldsworthy studied fine art at Bradford College of Art (1974–1975) and at Preston Polytechnic (1975–1978)[1] (now the University of Central Lancashire) in Preston, Lancashire, receiving his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree from the latter.[3]


Sculpture in National Museum of Scotland by Andy Goldsworthy.

After leaving college, Goldsworthy lived in Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria. In 1985, he moved to Langholm in Dumfries and Galloway, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, and a year later to Penpont. It has been said that his gradual drift northwards was "due to a way of life over which he did not have complete control", but that contributing factors were opportunities and desires to work in these areas and "reasons of economy".[4]

In 1993, he received an honorary degree from the University of Bradford. He is currently an A.D. White Professor-At-Large at Cornell University.[5]

Andy Goldsworthy is the subject of a 2001 documentary feature film called Rivers and Tides, directed by Thomas Riedelsheimer.[6]

Photography plays a crucial role in his art due to its often ephemeral and transient state. According to Goldsworthy, "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. There is an intensity about a work at its peak that I hope is expressed in the image. Process and decay are implicit."[7]

Goldsworthy produced a commissioned work for the entry courtyard of San Francisco's De Young Museum called "Drawn Stone", which echoes San Francisco's frequent earthquakes and their effects. His installation included a giant crack in the pavement that broke off into smaller cracks, and broken limestone, which could be used for benches. The smaller cracks were made with a hammer adding unpredictability to the work as he created it.[8]

Art process

The materials used in Andy Goldsworthy's art often include brightly coloured flowers, icicles, leaves, mud, pinecones, snow, stone, twigs, and thorns. He has been quoted as saying, "I think it's incredibly brave to be working with flowers and leaves and petals. But I have to: I can't edit the materials I work with. My remit is to work with nature as a whole."[9] Goldsworthy is generally considered the founder of modern rock balancing. For his ephemeral works, Goldsworthy often uses only his bare hands, teeth, and found tools to prepare and arrange the materials; however, for his permanent sculptures like "Roof", "Stone River" and "Three Cairns", "Moonlit Path" (Petworth, West Sussex, 2002) and "Chalk Stones" in the South Downs, near West Dean, West Sussex he has also employed the use of machine tools. To create "Roof", Goldsworthy worked with his assistant and five British dry-stone wallers, who were used to make sure the structure could withstand time and nature.

Personal life

In 1982, Goldsworthy married Judith Gregson. They had four children and settled in the village of Penpont in the region of Dumfries and Galloway, Dumfriesshire, in southwest Scotland. The couple later separated. He now lives there with his partner, Tina Fiske, an art historian whom he met when she came to work with him a few years after he separated from his wife.[2]


  • 1979 – North West Arts Award
  • 1980 – Yorkshire Arts Award
  • 1981 – Northern Arts Award
  • 1982 – Northern Arts Award
  • 1986 – Northern Arts Bursary
  • 1987 – Scottish Arts Council Award
  • 1989 – Northern Electricity Arts Award[3]
  • 2000 – Appointed officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)[2]

Exhibitions and installations

Image Dates Title Location
1996–2003 Sheepfolds Cumbria, England, UK
1997 Stone House[10] Herring Island, Victoria, Australia
1997 Cairn[10] Herring Island, Victoria, Australia
1998 Hutton Roof National Museum of Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

22 May –
15 November 2000
Andy Goldsworthy at Storm King Art Center[11]

(featuring the installation Storm King Wall)

Storm King Art Center

Mountainville, Cornwall, New York, USA

August 2001 Stone River[12] Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University

Stanford, California, USA

2002 Andy Goldsworthy Arch at Goodwood[13]
Cass Sculpture Foundation

Goodwood, West Sussex, England, UK

2002 Chalk Stones Trail South Downs near West Dean, West Sussex
4 May –
31 October 2004
Andy Goldsworthy on the Roof[14]

(featuring the installation Stone Houses)

Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Metropolitan Museum of Art Roof Garden

New York City, USA

2005 Andy Goldsworthy: Early Works

A national touring exhibition from the Haywood Gallery[15]

England, United Kingdom
2005 Drawn Stone[16] M. H. de Young Memorial Museum

San Francisco

22 January –
15 May 2005
The Andy Goldsworthy Project[17]

(including the installation Roof)[18]

National Gallery of Art

National Mall, Washington, D.C., USA

2006 Red sandstone wall at the Doerr-Hosier Center[19] Aspen Institute

Aspen, Colorado, USA

31 March 2007 –
6 January 2008
Andy Goldsworthy[20] Yorkshire Sculpture Park

West Bretton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England, UK

October 2008 Spire[21] Park Presidio
San Francisco
June 2009 Provence art trail[22] Provence
7 September 2012 –
2 November 2012
Domo de Argila / Clay Dome[23][24] Cais do Porto

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


  • photoworks by Andy Goldsworthy (1985). Rain, Sun, Snow, Hail, Mist, Calm : Photoworks by Andy Goldsworthy. Leeds: Henry Moore Centre for the Study of Sculpture.  
  • Andy Goldsworthy (1988). Parkland. [Yorkshire]:  
  • Andy Goldsworthy (1989). Touching North. London: Fabian Carlsson.  
  • Andy Goldsworthy (1989). Leaves. London:  
  • Andy Goldsworth (1990). Andy Goldsworthy. London: Viking.  
  • Andy Goldsworthy (1992). Ice and Snow Drawings : 1990–1992. Edinburgh: FruitMarket Gallery.  
  • Goldsworthy, Andy; Friedman, Terry (1993). Hand to Earth : Andy Goldsworthy Sculpture, 1976–1990. New York, N.Y.: H. N. Abrams.  
  • Andy Goldsworthy (1994). Stone. London: Viking.  
  • text and photographs by Andy Goldsworthy (1995). Black Stones, Red Pools : Dumfriesshire Winter 1994–5. London: Pro Arte Foundation in association with Michael Hue-Williams Fine Art Ltd. & Galerie Lelong, N.Y.  
  • Goldsworthy, Andy; Chettle, Steve; Nesbitt, Paul; Humphries, Andrew (1996). Sheepfolds. London: Michael Hue-Williams Fine Art Ltd. 
  • Andy Goldsworthy ; introduction by Terry Friedman (1996). Wood. London: Viking.  
  • Goldsworthy, Andy; Craig, David (1999). Arch. London: Thames & Hudson.  
  • Andy Goldsworthy. Chronology by Terry Friedman (2000). Time. London: Thames & Hudson.  
  • Goldsworthy, Andy; Thompson, Jerry L.; Storm King Art Center (2000). Wall at Storm King. London: Thames & Hudson.  
  • Andy Goldsworthy. Introduction by Judith Collins. (2001). Midsummer Snowballs. London: Thames & Hudson.  
  • Andy Goldsworthy (2002). Andy Goldsworthy : Refuges D'Art. Lyon; Digne, France: Editions Artha; Musée départemental de Digne.  
  • Andy Goldsworthy (2004). Passage. London: Thames & Hudson.  
  • Andy Goldsworthy (2007). Enclosure. London: Thames & Hudson.  

See also


  1. ^ a b Stonard, John Paul (10 December 2000). "Goldsworthy, Andy". Grove Art Online. Retrieved on 15 May 2007.
  2. ^ a b c Adams, Tim (11 March 2007). "Natural talent". London:  
  3. ^ a b "Andy Goldsworthy (British, 1956)". artnet. Archived from the original on 4 February 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2008. 
  4. ^ "Andy Goldsworthy". Cass Sculpture Foundation. Archived from the original on 12 March 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2008. 
  5. ^ Rivers and Tides at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 31 January 2008.
  6. ^ "Andy Goldsworthy: Art of nature".  
  7. ^ Douglas, Sarah (24 October 2005). "In Their Words: James Turrell and Andy Goldsworthy". ARTINFO. Retrieved 16 April 2008. 
  8. ^ Sooke, Alastair (24 March 2007). "He's got the whole world in his hands". London:  
  9. ^ a b "Artworks of Herring Island Environmental Sculpture Park".  
  10. ^ "Andy Goldsworthy at Storm King Art Center".  
  11. ^ , enters Stanford University's outdoor art collection"Stone River"Andy Goldsworthy sculpture, . Cantor Arts Center,  
  12. ^ "Andy Goldsworthy: Arch at Goodwood, 2002". Cass Sculpture Foundation. Archived from the original on 4 February 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2008. 
  13. ^ "Andy Goldsworthy on the Roof".  
  14. ^ "Andy Goldsworthy : Early Works : Leaves, Twigs, Enormous Snowballs and Icicles... Andy Goldworthy's Sculptures are Inherently Surprising and Beautiful".  
  15. ^ "Drawn Stone, on the website of Galerie Lelong, New York City". Archived from the original on 27 January 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2007. 
  16. ^ "The Andy Goldsworthy Project : 22 January – 15 May 2005".  
  17. ^ "Andy Goldsworthy : Roof".  
  18. ^ Oksenhorn, Stewart (23 September 2006). "A Wall of Integration, Not Division".  
  19. ^ Calton, Gary (photographer) (11 March 2007). "Andy Goldsworthy at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park". London:  
  20. ^ "Spire, by Andy Goldsworthy". The Presidio Trust. 2009. Retrieved 22 July 2009. 
  21. ^ "Provence art trail, by Andy Goldsworthy". The Guardian (London). 19 June 2009. Archived from the original on 23 July 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2009. 
  22. ^ "OiR Final release" (PDF). Oi Futuro Public Art Program. Retrieved 25 September 2012. 
  23. ^ "Andy Goldsworthy – Domo de Argila Legendado – YouTube". Oi Futuro Public Art Program. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2012. 


  • Adams, Tim (11 March 2007). "Natural talent". London:  
  • Biography of Andy Goldsworthy at the Cass Sculpture Foundation
  • Biography of Andy Goldsworthy at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
  • Sooke, Alastair (24 March 2007). "He's got the whole world in his hands". London:  

Further information


  • Beyst, Stefan (June 2002). "Andy Goldsworthy: The beauty of creation". Archived from the original on 25 June 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2007. 
  • Moore, Robbie. "Goldsworthy in stone". Specifier Magazine. Archived from the original on 6 September 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2007. 


  • Malpas, William (1995). Andy Goldsworthy: Touching Nature. Kidderminster: Crescent Moon.  
  • Malpas, William (1998). The Art of Andy Goldsworthy. Kidderminster: Crescent Moon.  
  • Malpas, William (2003). Andy Goldsworthy in Close-Up. Maidstone, Kent: Crescent Moon.  
  • Malpas, William (2008). Andy Goldsworthy: Pocket Guide. Maidstone, Kent: Crescent Moon.  

Film / Documentary

  • Rivers and Tides (2001) documentary

External links


  • Andy Goldsworthy at the Cass Sculpture Foundation
  • Andy Goldsworthy at artnet
  • Andy Goldsworthy's 1980s work with Common Ground, a UK charity and lobby group promoting local distinctiveness
  • (June 2005)Spark on KQED's TV programme Drawn StoneAndy Goldsworthy working on
  • Andy Goldsworthy on Artcyclopedia


  • Online preview of the Andy Goldsworthy Digital Catalogue DVD Volume 1: 1976–1986. A collaborative effort involving Goldsworthy, The Crichton Foundation, and the University of Glasgow's Crichton Campus and Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII). The DVD documents, visually and textually, the first ten years of Goldsworthy's ephemeral outdoor practice. It replicates Goldsworthy's "Slide Cabinet Index", and includes previously unpublished material from "Goldsworthy's Sketchbook Diaries".
  • "Wet feathers/Wrapped around a stone/Before the incoming tide, Carrick" (1999). Photograph from the collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
  • "Snowballs in Summer" (2000), photographed in Charterhouse Square and Smithfield Market in Smithfield, London, UK. Photographs from the Conway Collection, Courtauld Institute of Art, London.
  • "Three Cairns" (2002), Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa, US.
  • Photographs by Andy Goldsworthy in the UK Government Art Collection.
  • Photographs of Andy Goldsworthy's sculptures at Flickr
  • Andy Goldsworthy's Portfolio at the Cass Sculpture Foundation
  • – Media Initiatives to Protect Land Art from Urbanization, Industry and Overcuration.
  • "Natural Art" – Richard Long, Andy Goldsworthy, Jacek Tylicki by PediaPress. 2010
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