Golsdworthy on the Beach

We’ve just come back from a seemingly miraculously warm long weekend down the coast where shorts and T-shirts and fishing on the beach were the order of our days.

In the late afternoon, on the day of our arrival, we went for one of our favourite walks around the rock platforms to see what was happening. We were excited to find an octopus and get a close up look at one of the Pacific White-faced Herons hunting for fish in the shallow rock pools.

What we hadn???t expected to see were some small stone sculptures ?? la Andy Goldsworthy. Goldsworthy is a British sculptor who works with founds materials in the landscape.
There are lots of people who have seen Goldworthy???s sculptures and have been inspired by the directness and apparent simplicity of his work. As he says people have been putting stones one on top of the other for a long time. Why I was surprised to see these sculptures was that, by coincidence, I???d brought down to the coast a DVD of Goldsworthy???s work Rivers and Tides to watch. One of the other elements that most characterises Goldsworthy???s work is its use of ephemeral materials and the impact of natural phenomena such as tides, particularly obvious at the beach, on his work. As for these small pieces when we went down to the rock platform the next day there was no sign left of them.

Well having sat down that night to watch the DVD TB and I were up for the challenge. I acknowledge that there was some shameless copying of Goldsworthy???s style but that didn???t detract from our basic enjoyment, not to mention challenges we found in directly interacting with the landscape. I made two pieces with leaves in small rock pools. One set of leaves came from a small tree growing outside our cabin and the second was made with dried Banksia leaves collected on the beach.

TB worked with the kelp floats that seemed more than usually abundant on the shoreline this visit. TB???s piece was made very late in the afternoon of our final day at the coast, with the tide coming in. We had just finished making the spiral and taking some photographs when a seemingly innocuous wavelet came across the rock platform and gently re-designed the work.



2 thoughts on “Golsdworthy on the Beach

  1. Thank you for the pictures of the landscape art – I particularly enjoyed the autumn leaves against the colour of the rock, and the redesigning of TB’s wonderfully open-ended spiral.

  2. We had great fun making these works, although I must say it took a bit more work than initially envisaged. The re-arrangement of TB’s spiral happened so quickly that we were taken by surprise. It was such a small wavelet, only a few centimetres tall (as it had already travelled over 50 metres of rock platform) that we struggled to believe could change the work so quickly and so well.

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