Andy Goldsworthy, Source of Scaur, 1991-2; Water on wove-paper, red stones, and earthy pigments

Andy Goldsworthy, Source of Scaur, 1991-2; Water on wove-paper, red stones, and earthy pigments

Andy Goldsworthy by Britt Franklin

Monday, May 13, 2013

Andy Goldsworthy a British artist renown for immensely unique and intense artworks that are often found in nature. He has been recognized for his working-relationship with the natural environment, creating artworks that are fleeting whilst others are permanent. Goldsworthy’s works are attractive and tantalizing because he works with the impermanence of nature; he accepts the threat of rain or strong winds as simply being a process of the artwork. His watercolors are most remarkable because of the organic and rather removed approach he has in their development and creation.

The work Source of the Scaur is ephemeral and embodies the very process of nature; it is emblematic of how snow melts into the landscape. How the paper responds to the melted snowball is how the landscape reacts to the affect of water. Amazingly, Goldsworthy manages to harness nature by bringing it inside the studio but by allowing the snowball to melt on its own, he is not restricting its power. Made from crushed red stones and earthy pigments found along the banks of the Scaur River, near Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland, Goldsworthy’s snowball leaves smooth gradations of color in organic pools. Flowing streams all coming together in a concentrated pond at the bottom of the work comes to mind when I look at Source of the Scaur, which is ironic because of the origin of the stone. This work is the place it came from; instead of a painting of the River Scaur, the watercolor is made from natural materials and is created in its natural and organic process. Knowing how Goldsworthy creates his artwork makes it much more multifaceted and impressive.

Goldsworthy has done a number of other impressive works with snowballs, including the series of snowball watercolors made at Fort Vchten (Bunnik, Province Utrecht, 23 March 1999). Most notably, Goldsworthy’s Midsummer Snowballs was carried out on June 21, 2000, on Midsummer Day in the streets of London and the reaction and interaction from the public was captured by photographers, documenting a project where the history of the snowballs was as important as their eventual disintegration.

Andy Goldsworthy will be coming to Buffalo to complete two major works on the Albright-Knox’s grounds (Path (working title), 2012 – ongoing). He will be giving a lecture on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

Britt Franklin


Britt Franklin is a Buffalo State Museum Studies graduate student with a passion for history, preserving old buildings and making museums and galleries more accessible and inviting to the public.  Having spent the past 10 years on the move, Britt has put down roots in Buffalo and is learning to embrace the snow and cold weather; it is very different from the beaches and sun of her home in Bermuda.