I saw "Rivers & Tides" tonight. We rented it from netflix. It is a documentary about the works of Scottish sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. I did not know what to expect, but it looked interesting. It was.
It was beautiful, and, ultimately, indescribable.
Goldsworthy's entry in Wikipedia says that he "produces site specific sculpture and land art situated in natural settings." It mentions that his works are, some of them, anyhow, quite ephemeral. He has done works in ice, made long chains of leaves and floated them down a brook, but he has also done works in stone that will probably last for years. But a quality that all his works have, even the most solid and unmoving, is that they are not static. Even the most imperishable interacts with its surroundings, with the sun and light, with wind and rain, changing sometimes profoundly as these change.
Because of this dynamic aspect of Goldsworthy's work, the film was a wonderful introduction - far better than a series of static photographs could have been. I got to see the dynamic qualities of many pieces, watch their creation, watch their evolution as gravity or tides or time undid them again.
Throughout it all I saw and felt, at least to some small extent, the artist's way of working, beyond what words could really describe. He seems to have a profound connection to the world about him, a direct interaction that is expressed in his creations. Nothing I have encountered before let me understand so well what shamans must have felt - though the shamanic intention to control and influence is absent. Goldsworthy seems to be instead a collaborator and co-creator, working with the flow of reality around him. His work is marked by this innocence and wonder.
This film is very much worth experiencing.
Diary - Diary entries by Goldsworthy while working in Digne, France. Includes some photos.
For images of work, just do an image search in Google on Andy Goldsworthy.