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Thursday, January 31


Andy Goldsworthy has no equal.  We saw the film Rivers and Tides outlining his process a few years ago and were sold on his genius.  Goldsworthy creates and photographs site-specific sculptures, using nature as his material.  Precarious piles of stone, elegant trails of blood-red leaves, fragile stick arrangements are within his canon.  Working with snowballs since 1977, the artist has a history of placing the balls in unexpected places as well as embedding within them materials that reveal themselves as the snow melts.  On July 21st 2000, Goldsworthy launched the Midsummer Snowballs project, documented in this featured book.

"There's something very powerful about finding snow in summer.  It's as if the whole of winter has drained through that white hole -- a concentration of winter."

Goldsworthy made 13 huge snowballs during the last two winters of the 20th century, often in harsh conditions, then transported them to cold storage to await the first midsummer of the 21st century, when he placed them in London's financial district.  Over the days it took for them to melt, beautiful, powerful and often humorous photos were taken documenting the reaction of the public and the gradual disappearance of the balls.  The ephemeral quality of the snow contrasts with the surrounding architecture, yet buildings are not so different from snowballs in summer: several buildings that Goldworthy had chosen as locations disappeared just prior to installation.  Many of the materials concealed within the snow (wool, wheat, pinecones, barbed wire) referenced the industry surrounding them as well as evoking the rural landscape from which they were taken, creating a dialogue between the wild nature and the ordered urban experiences.  

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