Been a long-time enthusiast for Andy Goldsworthy’s work. I can’t quite recall the sequence but I became aware of him and what he was doing and then shortly afterwards attended an exhibition, might have been a retrospective, might have been his first major London show and was astonished to find that everything on display was blown-up photography. Huge 2.5x2.5m unframed pictures. Which wasn’t what I thought he was about. But then I realised that if you are going to make a trail of brightly coloured leaves floating slowly down a woodland stream, then how else can you explain it to your audience than by taking a picture of what you just did.
His work has a kind of spiritual purpose and encompasses stone walls [see image] like this one in Grizedale Sculpture Park which is utterly delightful when you see it for real; sticks and pebble arrangements, leaves scattered or woven in some kind of pattern seem to be his most favoured form of expression. He is well worth investigating. There is one of his pieces over in Gateshead amongst some prickly bushes next to the Hilton Hotel car park that no-one no-one knows about. It is from his series of egg-shaped twig structures; it must be worth a fortune but it is not fenced-off or surrounded by opaque security glass, it just sits there waiting to be found.
Many of his pieces only last a few hours but that doesn’t invalidate them in any way, in fact that gossamer-winged aspect to much of his work is probably the thing I love the most about it.