I spend a bit of time, every now and again, wondering what art is all about. A lot of my questions were answered by Andy Goldsworthy in the film Rivers and Tides, a documentary about the incredible nature artists work.
When I was young, I spent holidays in Cornwall damming streams on the beach, then watching the tide, or the weight of water from upstream, return the dams to nature. It was fun, and it was fascinating to play with nature like this. Most of us get older and stop damming rivers, but Andy Goldsworthy’s curiosity with nature clearly grew greater and greater with time.
Now his work is to intervene with trees, leaves, rock, rivers, and tides, and when you see him creating in nature, and talking about what he does, you realise it’s just as important as any scientific investigation into the nature of the universe, yet it’s the kind of exploration that’s totally given up by most of us the moment we stop being ‘kids’.
One of the most inspirational films I’ve ever seen.
A short clip:
Does it help me work out what art is all about? I think so. I think it’s an investigation, a new way of seeing, a curiosity, a way of understanding and interpreting the wonder of it all…