Andy Goldsworthy, OBE, studied Fine Art at Preston Polytechnic (1975-8), establishing his first studios in Yorkshire (1979-1981), then Cumbria (1981-1985), before moving to Dumfriesshire in 1985 and his current home in Penpont in 1986. From the early 1980s his sculpture, installations and photographs of ephemeral works were regularly included in both national and international exhibitions of sculpture and land art, with his first major touring show Hand to Earth initiated by Leeds City Art Gallery in 1990. The artist’s work is site-specific and he explores the qualities of different places through intense immersion in their physical environment – whether Scottish hills, American woodland or Japanese shorelines – often creating ephemeral works from materials found to hand, from leaves and ice to wood, stone and his own material body. Major solo exhibitions of Goldsworthy’s work have been presented by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, California; Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
The passage of time, the constant shift and change in natural processes, are all embedded in traces found in the environment around us and are given form in Goldsworthy’s work. The image of the artist’s mud-streaked arm (2012) reminds us of the physical nature of this reality and his way of working. The still photographs and recent video from his Frost Shadow series use these most time-saturated of media to capture fleeting impressions of the artist’s presence in the landscape – animating the experience of being in place long after the shadow has melted before the energy of the rising sun.