“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.”
"I enjoy the freedom of just using my hands and "found" tools--a sharp stone, the quill of a feather, thorns. I take the opportunities each day offers: if it is snowing, I work with snow, at leaf-fall it will be with leaves; a blown-over tree becomes a source of twigs and branches. I stop at a place or pick up a material because I feel that there is something to be discovered. Here is where I can learn. "
- Andy Goldsworthy
In his collaborations with nature, Andy works with whatever comes to hand: twigs, leaves, stones, snow and ice, reeds and thorns, creating site specific installations, exploring the very essences of these materials. In his process, he first must become attuned to his environment mentally, physically, and emotionally. He listens, he observes, and then when he seems to be drawn to the way the materials express themselves he creates. He takes these very materials and reweaves them back into the environment in a deliberate manner then lets the effects of the natural conditions have their way with them. For example, near a stream, he sews together leaves with pine needles and allows the current to carry them as if it were a new inhabitant making its way in the flow. Another example he creates a structure from sandstone or shale at the seas edge then observes how the tide interacts with it, carries it away, melts it, or simply flows over it. In this manner, he is exploring change, transformation, mutability, permeability, the unknown and impermanence.
What Would Andy Do?
Take the time to watch the two videos about his work that are listed below these directions. After watching those videos and reading the quotes and description of his work on this page, your job is to go out in nature and transform it the way you think Andy might.
Get a feel for the environment In which you'll be working. Breathe In the air, become familiar with the materials that are natural to the space. What materials are available in that space that have aesthetic power? How might you take those materials and create something beautiful that will make others stop, question, smile, and contemplate?
For this project, you will need to spend a minimum of 3 full hours outside in nature building your work. You'll need to keep a log of your hours with details in the "description of work" section. These work logs are in the Schoology assignment titled "What Would Andy Do?"
When you've completed the work, you will need to take a clear and creative photograph of the work In Its environment. If you'd rather make a dynamic video of the work in it's environment, that is also an option. The photograph or video you create is important to giving the viewers an understanding of the installation you've made and how it is woven back into the environment from which it was created. For this work of art you may only use the materials available in nature. Nothing man made can be used for this project, and all natural elements must be found in that environment.
Inventing your own designs
Step by Step Directions
Start with 3-4 random lines inside the square to break up the space. These can be straight lines or curves. Each line should start and end at the border of the design.
Placing these first lines – you divided the square into few areas. Now you concentrate on one area at a time.
Start placing lines parallel to the outline of the area.
Get them close together without having them touch (except at the ends).
You can do that in a circle, or use only select sides of the area, or use only 2 sides
Once you are done with one area – move to the next
The worksheet contains 12 squares for you to design. I will be grading the top six designs that you indicate for me to grade. Use the entire 90 minute period to create as many designs as possible. If you don't finish all 12 by the end of class, you may take the worksheet home and turn it in the next time we meet. We will be moving on to the Optical Illusions with Line project once this activity is complete.