Goldsworthy works and creates in harmony with the environment using natural materials. Some of his sculptures are ephemeral and not meant to last. These works of breathtaking beauty exist in nature until wind, water, heat or cold destroys them. Some ‘pieces’ disintegrate almost immediately like the balls of red clay that Goldsworthy throws into a waterfall creating a ‘bloody’, foamy stream. Or the icicle-formation that will relentlessly melt in the sun.

“The very thing that brought it to life will bring about its death,” says Goldsworthy about the process that makes his art ephemeral. But this is part of the artistic game of rearranging nature into works of art that do not really belong in galleries or museums. They cannot be bought or purchased. Some of Goldsworthy’s other works are more resilient and meant to last like the ‘slaloming’ fence built through the woods, between the trees and across the countryside.


Goldsworthy tries to explain what motivates him to work in often rough conditions; exposed to cold wind or with his fingers in icy water only to see his work disappear afterwards. The artist’s commentary and reflections on his work are necessary but the rest of the time the works of art stand for themselves, expressing the cycle of life and death and rebirth. For Goldsworthy, seeing and understanding nature is a way of renewing our links with the earth.

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