Photo: Icicles – Ilkley Moor, 1979, Andy Goldsworthy. Colour photograph on card. © Andy Goldsworthy 2002.
An intriguing exhibition of early work by Andy Goldsworthy and Richard Long is on display at the Yard Gallery in Nottingham until January 4, 2004.
Drawn from the Arts Council Collection the exhibition brings together a series of 15 colour photographs of Andy Goldsworthy’s works and three pieces by Richard Long made between 1977 and 1979.
Both artists create works in the landscape, using nature as both the raw material and subject of their work. Although their styles are similar, the two artists working practices are very different.
Photo: Oak Leaves in Holes, 1978, Andy Goldsworthy. Colour photograph on card. © Andy Goldsworthy 2002.
Using natural materials, from stones and twigs to snow and icicles, Goldsworthy creates art that offers the viewer a heightened experience of the energy and patterning of the natural world.
His use of photography is essential to provide the only lasting evidence of his reworking of nature, preserving, as he puts it "the optimum moment, the moment when I had not just made the piece, but understood the piece."
The result is a stunning manipulation of the beauty of nature into a crafted work of art. One image shows a black soil-covered snowball sitting in stark contrast against the white of the surrounding snow, while another offers a seemingly haphazard arrangement of grass stalks.
Long’s work, on the other hand, is founded on the art of walking and walking as art.
Photo: Icicle Stack, 1978, Andy Goldsworthy. Colour photograph on card. © Andy Goldsworthy 2002.
He walks for hundreds of miles for days or weeks at a time, through all types of terrain from the British countryside to the Mountains of Nepal to the African plains.
During these solitary journeys, Long arranges temporary forms such as circles, spirals or lines using natural materials from stone and wood to mud, which are available at each site.
The journeys are then documented with captioned large-scale photographs, maps and lists of descriptive terms that are exhibited as individual works.
Photo: Balanced Rocks, 1978, Andy Goldsworthy. Colour photograph on card. © Andy Goldsworthy 2002.
While Goldsworthy has been working in photography since the mid-1970s, his winning of a North West Arts Major Award in 1979 enabled him to have photographs professionally printed up for exhibition for the first time.
Born in Bristol in 1945, Richard Long has been using his direct interaction with nature as the subject matter of his art for 30 years. In 1987 he won the Turner Prize.
One of the largest collections of modern and contemporary British art in the world, the Arts Council Collection has over 7,000 paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs by Britain’s leading artists.
The Collection has been built up since 1946 and lends work to public buildings around the country and to exhibitions in Britain and abroad.